Our Community... Your Community!


We have all known the long lonliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

                                                  Dorothy Day  


Welcome to

         "Our Community...Your Community"

We all know the importance of community.   It can be a place where we find hope, love, strength and knowledge to name only a few, in our attempt to be more of who we are and feel that we belong to something much greater than ourselves alone, giving us a sense of purpose.  This page of our website is solely devoted to individuals in our community who are making a positive contribution to society and are little by little helping to make our world a better place.  We want it to be a resource you can draw on to connect with like-minded individuals for your personal development and friendship.  Every few months we will be highlighting an individual within our community as we grow you a garden of resources to pick from!




                                 In joy & light




Cheryl is a spiritual teacher who's focus is on peace and love... and don't we all need more of that?  We can make a difference in the world, if we choose to "be the change".   When you enroll in one of her meditation classes, you will be truly giving yourself a gift of peace as you open your heart more to your authentic self.   http://www.soularsystem.net/classes/class1.html


Peace Begins with Me  ~  Meditation Classes

We all breath the same air.

I recently watched a video of a Syrian toddler pulled alive from the rubble after Aleppo bombing. It was all I could do to not scream from the hill tops, "Everyone please forgive! And then forgive again! If you can’t forgive ask that the person be blessed."

If I am holding anything against my neighbour then I am part of the rubble that almost suffocated that little baby.     

When are we going to get it? Peace begins with me. We talk a lot these days about transparency. Can we be transparent in our thirst for peace? 

If we are not at peace we can ask ourselves in meditation what can I do to bring about peace. "But I can’t meditate," you say.  Do you worry? If you can focus on worry you can meditate. All you are doing is changing the focus to peace. And Peace is catchy. You get it, your spouse gets it, the dog lives it. It’s in the air and we all breathe the same air. 

My father is the most peaceful person I know.  Others may say he has no back bone. Peace does not look as powerful as war and it is not the absence of war nor is it the opposite. Peace is an innate part of our nature. It has no duality, nor is it a dichotomy.  

When we were kids, we often said hello by holding up our peace fingers, “Hey, Peace man, Peace.”  What happened to that?  Even if we were being flippant, it was in ‘the air.’ Now we are embarrassed to look like an old hippie. Our so-called celebrity status is at stake.  Lets take a risk, look foolish and believe in the power of peace. Let our peace be transparent and pass the peace. When we pass the peace we create more peace. 


Class 1 Basic Spiritual Tools focuses on many spiritual tools that will relieve your stress while focussing on Peace and Love. 

for more information about the class and location please see website.



Cheryl’s Bio:  Cheryl's astrological and spiritual practice began in the ‘70s. She has been facilitating meditation groups for the past 20 years. Please see her website for more information.  http://www.soularsystem.net/classes/class1.html





Tricia Keith welcomes us into conversation about a subject that most of us are not very comfortable discussing:  Death & Dying...   Tricia has a beautiful heart and somehow makes this subject very approachable and sacred.

                   Tricia Keith


Death and Dying Guide / Home Funeral Guide.

Both of these roles are re-claiming an old tradition.

The first, a Death and Dying Guide, re-claims the non-medical support that every culture has offered their dying throughout the ages. Its really only been in the last 100 years that the experience of dying has become the medicalized event we see today. Not that Palliative Care does not seek to care for the whole person, but what used to be bound within community is now institutionalized. Even with the best of intentions, institutional care often lacks a consistency and completeness in its emphasis on the medical treatment of symptoms. Historically Death and Dying Guides were known as Death Midwives or Anamcara, (Gaelic for “Soul Friend”). A Death and Dying Guide is a non-institutionalized, non-medical alternative guide or companion to those at the end-of-life.

Each Death and Dying Guide has his or her own training, background and set of tools. But what we all share in common is an understanding that death is a natural process, not a failure and that living at the end-of-life marks a poignant transition with abundant potential for healing, wholeness and inner transformation.

The second, a home funeral, is a family centered response to death. Again, how we did death 100-150 years ago is how it had been for thousands of years prior. Families (all loved ones included as family) took care of their own dead, preparing the body of their loved one, with washing and dressing, then laying out the body for a family vigil and a viewing for the larger community. All of this was done responsibly and as final, sacred acts of love. The only people who touched the body were those who knew (and loved) the person.

Unlike today, 150 years ago deceased bodies were not embalmed. This was a fad which arose during the American Civil war, set off by affluent Northern families who wanted their boys brought home. In order to do this, in the heat, on a train, those bodies required “treatment”. That embalming treatment has stuck until today, though there is no positive public health reason for its usage.

A home funerals is different from the conventional funeral by its emphasis on minimal, noninvasive care and preparation of the body, on its reliance on the family's own social networks for assistance and support, and on the relative or total absence of commercial funeral providers in its proceedings.

Today many families are re-claiming the tradition of home funerals because they are more affordable, more family centered, more environmentally responsible, more emotionally healing and more creatively expressive.

When we hire people to take care of these sacred arrangements, we cease to participate in own lives and miss the opportunity to effectively move through life altering experiences with others into more connectedness. It is healthy for the family’s grieving process to participate in this journey together, as far as they can. A Home Funeral Guide, supports the family through their process, along the family’s own timeline. Most every family who has taken this route has claimed that the experience was a deeply transforming one; one that connected them, rather than tore them apart.

For more information on my services please visit:

The Weaver     http://tricia-keith-ik37.squarespace.com/

For a view into Home Funerals, watch the trailer to the upcoming documentary:

In the Parlor:  http://intheparlordoc.com/


Our Natural Passage

A workshop designed to help people become prepared for the shared human experience of dying and being with, one who is dying and to encourage people to get more out of life by clearly speaking about death!







My heart sings, as I share with you the new parents of our Lighten Up! candle division, Betty & Norm Eady!  I feel so blessed that they care so very much about the candles, their customers and the true essence of Lighten Up!

Betty & Norm Eady 

Lighten Up Candles Inc.

Lighten Up Candles has been a family affair for almost 25 years.  Holly Steiner founded Lighten Up Creations in 1991.  Having grown up on a farm in the countryside, she has always had a love of nature and its unassuming beauty, as well as a love of candlelight.  But it was even more than that – she saw the flame of a candle as that of our inner light.  So she merged the two together and with a spark of light, and the flicker of a flame, their first candle was born!  It was Holly’s vision to bring more light into the world…and her company did that one candle at a time, finding their way to over half a million homes throughout the world. With a desire to follow her passion for creating one-of-a-kind healing jewellery, Holly sold the candle division in late 2012 to Betty and Norm Eady from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

It was a lazy summer afternoon in late July that Norm Eady was reading an online classified posting on a trade website and saw the posting for the Candle division of Lighten Up Creations.  Betty and Norm have always had a love for candles and owned the first retail candle store in Thunder Bay for many years.  A spark of an idea and Lighten Up Candles was born.  A sign from the universe, a new friendship with Holly and the Eady’s began the family tradition of adding more light into the world.  Lighten Up Candles started in October 2013, now headquartered in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

Sometimes you find the perfect path and the universe guides people together, which is just what happened with Holly and Betty and Norm.  From the time that Norm sent the first email to Holly saying that they might be interested in purchasing the candle division, it seemed that everything just fell into place and within 6 weeks of that first email, Holly was arriving in Thunder Bay to spend a week of training and inspiration to the Eadys.  A year and a half later, Lighten Up Candles creates the beautiful hand crafted candles in the traditions started by Holly over 25 years ago.  Out of a deep respect for the designs created by Holly, Betty and Norm have kept many of the candle collections with the Amethyst and Canadian Maple leading the way as the most popular collections.  They have also made some changes creating some new products, additional sizes and always exploring new treasurers found in nature to add to the candles.

The process of creating hand crafted candles such as these, produce surplus unusable wax which would normally be disposed of, however with the intention to reduce waste, Lighten Up Candles turns that surplus wax into beautifully scented, hand poured 15 hour votives.  These votives are available in 20 different fragrances.

The candles are inspired by nature and contain many of nature’s treasures including Amethyst, Dried and Pressed Maple Leaves, Seashells collected from beaches around the world and all lightly scented with the beautiful fragrances of nature.

Spas, wellness Centres and healers love the Light Energy Candles which are sparkly vegetable wax in a contemporary glass jar and come in 7 vibrant colours of the rainbow, relative to the Chakra Wellness System.  These creations not only bring the receiver more light but also the healing powers of the Chakra System

Lighten Up Candles can be found in retail stores across Canada and the US and last summer went to Japan. Betty and Norm work with retailers to provide selling information so that their staff are up to date on the selling points of the candles.  To ensure a healthy selling opportunity they limit retail outlets in any given market and they always work to find promotional opportunities to help the retailers maximize sales.

Norm commented that one of the main lessons learned from Holly was that creating the perfect candle doesn’t start with a unique design or a vat of melted wax; it starts with a pure intention of your heart to create a piece of art and hand craft that piece of art with love.  Every candle created by Lighten Up Candles start with that.  We add the melted wax, beautiful fragrance and hand crafted care but each candle is truly made with love.  These candles go on to light the homes and lives of so many people around the world and it is our sincere hope that this light will shine into the lives of the people they touch for years to come.

For more information on Lighten Up Candles, please contact

Norm Eady,

President and Candlemaker

Phone: 877-841-2871  

Fax: 866-702-3092

Email: neady@lightenupcandles.com

Or visit us on the web at www.lightenupcandles.com

Or Like us on Facebook:  Lighten-Up-Candles-Inc





Joanne Finlay, a very talented artist who shines her light so richly, as she inspires us in new ways to breathe beauty into our lives and our homes.   http://www.joannefinlay.com/gallery


Joanne Finlay

Joanne draws and paints for the sheer joy of being able to experiment with texture in pen/ink, graphite, acrylics and watercolor/mixed media.

She became much more observant in her life in the early 1990's.  She moved back to the West Coast after being away for quite a number of years and was amazed by the beauty that she had left behind.  Joanne started to see rock formations with a more curious eye, ocean beaches from an observer’s camera (with their never ending tide pools) and the wonderful variety which is part of the urban garden and rural landscape.  

The Fraser Valley of British Columbia is like an open pallet with colors and textures radiating from the blueberry fields, gladiola farms and the ever colorful farmland which changes with the seasons.  Her current work is primarily impressionistic realism, especially in her paintings of the Gulf Islands and local landscapes.  She has a special fondness for pen/ink and graphite which is where she started her journey a number of years ago.  

Joanne is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists (Fraser Valley Chapter).  She loves to learn and enjoys attending all types of workshops and classes to meet others who can’t live without creating!  Joanne was delighted when her pen/ink piece "Sandstone In David's Cove" was juried into the Federation of Canadian Artists International Exhibition, Painting On The Edge in 2013.  This year she was again fortunate to have her piece "On the Edge of the Rainforest" selected.   Her work can be found in collections both locally and nationally and she is always thrilled when someone falls in love with one of her paintings or drawings. 

Joanne is an honourary member of the Drawing Society of Canada.  She is an artist who believes anyone can make art (which takes many different forms) and that it is ultimately the most intimate form of self-expression and joy.  Thank you for taking the time to look at my work.    Visit website


                                          Ocean Floor in Abstract





This month (March) our community guest is Merrill Masson.   Merrill is a self-taught artist and shares with us her love and passion for creating mandalas - and they are mesmerizingly beautiful!  You may wish to visit her website to see her full range of products:  Merrills-Mandalas.ca


         Merrill Masson

What is a mandala and how did I come to creating them?

In 1989, I was living on Quadra Island in a small cabin on the beach, when my friend put a pencil in my hand and suggested I start drawing. I had never drawn anything in my life so I began very hesitantly with a small sketch of the cabin we lived in. Somewhat satisfied with my very first drawing, I soon found myself swirling my pencil into spirals and geometric designs. I fell in love with the new world of colours and shapes and endless possibilities. I was finding comfort in this new medium of expression and very quickly gravitated to ‘the circle’. I discovered that my artistic birth was safe and very inspired with this art form, this magic circle, wheel of life, sacred circle, which I learned was called MANDALA.

Where does “mandala” come from?

First of all, the actual word comes from the Indian Sanskrit meaning ‘circle’.   It has been traced back to the 12th Century, drawn by Hildegard von Bingen, but is also used in many other religions and philosophies, particularly Buddhism.   Mandalas are created all over the world and are used for different purposes. Native Americans created the medicine wheel, and the Aztecs used a mandala calendar for keeping time. The “yin-yang” symbol by the Taoist represents opposition and the intricate Tibetan mandalas rich in religious symbols are used in meditation. Both the Navajo Indians and the Tibetan monks create sand mandalas demonstrating the impermanence of life. You can even find mandalas in nature – flowers, snowflakes, crystals, and see them in stained glass windows, labyrinths, dream catchers and Celtic art.

My creative process

I love making mandalas. I love the form, shapes, designs, symbols and the richness of colours. It is a way for me to discover peace and joy with extreme focus and diligence. There is harmony and precision and more importantly imperfection and impermanence. I also enjoy commission work as I learn more about what the person is seeking. The ‘magic circle’ speaks to me as I never know how the circle will be transformed. It’s always a great spiritual journey into the unknown.


                                                                                Fiery Threads

Fiery Threads was inspired by my daughter, Cari, as she directed her vision through me. She stood by my side every step of the way and together we created this piece, which became her birthday gift for 2012. I came to enjoy the experience once I got out of my own way as she took me totally out of my element, challenging me to create something very different for both of us.