Colleen McCrory in Germany (Oct 2007)

After four years of introducing you to regional Retreat Centers, Ashrams and Meditation Centers – places that empower people – we are now featuring people … special people who empower others to be all that they can be. Being passionate about life is the best way I know to be of service, and I am happy to be able to recognize and showcase valuable role models that we can emulate if we choose.

Marshall Rosenberg, who founded The Center for Nonviolent Communication, was featured last month, and Colleen McCrory is this month’s inspirational person. Colleen died recently after thirty years of service as an environmentalist. She and her brother Wayne helped co-found the Valhalla Wilderness Society which has spearheaded campaigns that now protect over 1.2 million acres of land.

Colleen was ‘just’ a housewife living in the Kootenays. She had no training nor role models to follow … just her heart whispering to her what felt right. She had the courage to speak her truth, and in so doing helped to convince the government to protect the old growth forests and their inhabitants from the logging interests. I chose to feature Colleen after seeing her on the front cover of Common Ground, a ‘Get the Big Picture’ magazine from Vancouver. Anne Sherrod, her assistant for twenty-five years, is so passionate about the work that Colleen did as spokesperson for the Valhalla Wilderness Society that she wrote an updated article which is on page 16.

I had heard of the good work that Colleen and her brother Wayne were doing, but I did not realize to the extent their efforts had paid off. She makes me proud to be a Canadian. Many years ago, I knew I had to make a choice about where to focus my energy. I knew it was important to protect the environment so I chose to support Greenpeace with my money. I also bought many beautiful posters from the Western Canada Wilderness Committee over the years. This month I am reprinting an article from their Summer 2007 newsletter that educates us about our water supply… please read it on page 10 and check out the various website. I feel grateful that many people are getting involved and are taking the time to speak up for what feels right. Challenging ourselves to become educated and intuitive at the same time is not an easy path. Discerning what is ‘truth’ in any media coverage is a good skill to develop.

Our survival as a country is now dependent on our collective vision. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world, for indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Gandhi suggested that we “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We all vote for what we want on this planet with our time or life energy. The money we make and how we spend it is a reflection of our values: Are you conscious of what your vision for this planet is?

I feel that Colleen is still with us, working on influencing others, just on a different plane of existence. Perhaps she can work even better from the other side. If you hear her whisper, “What can you do for your country?” perhaps it is time to get involved, as each of us do make a difference. Another great website is www.rightoncanada.ca

I was told by Anne that Colleen died two weeks to the day from her first headache, which reminded me of a deal that I made so many years ago with my angels: that I would be given two weeks’ notice if they wanted me to work on other levels of existence. I wanted ‘peace of mind,’ so when I travelled, I would feel safe. I also figured I needed two weeks to get my ‘papers’ in order, to make life a little easier for those left behind. For me, death is a time of transition and I would like to see it celebrated the same way as when a child is born into the world. Hurray for Colleen, hurray for Canada. I wonder what kind of statement she was trying to make by choosing Canada Day as her departure date. If you would like to know some details about the death process please read Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s CD review on page 33.

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