Category Archives: nature

Aha Moments

A few days ago, I went to the store to find some aerobic dance shoes. I needed some shoes that would help me glide as I dance. Within minutes at the store, I heard over the speakers, the song, Just Dance by Lady Gaga. I laughed inside for the coincidence or synchronicity of it! I just notice these things all of the time! Everyday, I see numbers, signs, words, people engaging in various activities which relate to what I’m doing! Have you every noticed it? The things that are on our minds and hearts tend to show up! It’s not always the case, but it does happen to me a lot. I see it as a bit of divine inspiration. I also see it as my reason to make a conscious effort to watch my thoughts, and make intentional choices everyday to do what I know in order to achieve my goals, desires of my heart, and aspirations.

There are signs in creation and all around us everyday that inspire our daily lives. If I open my eyes and my heart to notice, I’ll know that I am never alone and there is always hope. Life is easy and never a reason to worry or fear. If it sounds like I’m in a bubble, you’re right! I’m in a bubble of belief and support that everything good always comes my way, I’m loved and all is well!!! Look for those synchronicities and have your own aha moments! When I started seeing them, I realized the beauty, love, and magic of life! Life is magical!

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Working Vacation Adventure

Last year, my husband and I went on a phenomenal two month long road trip vacation across the US  for a total of 8,000+ miles!   It was fun and interesting.  We went from Arizona to New Orleans and drove up the Mississippi River historic route all the way to Lake Itasca, Minnesota where the mighty river begins.  He would work for part of the day at he hotel, local library, restaurant or in the car.  Then we would go sightseeing, rest, or travel.

The best part is we planned, before we left home, all the special places we wanted to visit and it was quite the adventure.  If we went to a town where we didn’t have plans, we checked online to see what was happening in the town like an outdoor concert, or special community event   We did have to reroute somewhere in Illinois to get off the path of a tornado.  There were also detours traveling along the Mississippi River due to water on the road.

We stayed in lots of hotels and also rented a room on AirBnb if we were going to be in a town for a while.  On one occasion, we rented a loft for a week, that we found on AirBnb.  The room in the house and the loft were the nicest stays since it was more like home.    If I were to take an extended working vacation in Portugal or perhaps Spain, I would want those types of accommodations.  It’s a nice way to connect with the locals in new places.   We also made a point to avoid chain restaurants to try something new or unique to the area.

There were some places in the northern part of the US where we didn’t have good cellphone service, GPS, nor internet.  It’s definitely something to consider if planning to go on a road trip or somewhere there might not be service.  Still, it was a wonderful trip.   I loved calling my daughter back home on skype to catch up with her and my grand-daughters.

Connections with others, nature and landmarks are important to me no matter where I am working.   Life is sweeter when it is spent with others, and maintaining a spirit of adventure, which brings openness and an awareness of the majestic beauty of our world.   It also inspires new ideas for creating the life we want to live and the legacy we will leave to the future generations.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

Tai Chi In The Park

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

 

Before I learned of today’s blog challenge, I had already planned my adventure.  I started attending Tai Chi sessions about a year ago, and this was my fourth time.  It’s at a park about 30 miles from home, and I love it, but I just haven’t fully committed myself to the drive.  I leave early so that I don’t have to rush up there.   I mean, what’s the point if I speed through traffic to do an exercise that is slow and gentle?   Besides, I generally like to drive at a slower speed.  Every time I go, I say to myself, “I really wish I would do this more often!”  I really love the park.   I love being outside.  It’s the nicest experience of exercising slowly.  I love the people and the leader, too.

I know the first time I did it, I thought, “Oh my, I knew we were going to go slow but this is slow (in a good way)!”   The movements are slow and deliberate, easy form, gently moving your energy, and lots of breathing!   It has a surprising relaxing and peaceful effect on my mind and body.   It feels soothing to  the soul.   It makes me smile and shine from the inside out.     The entire experience served as great reminders to:   Relax, take it easy, make deliberate choices, spend time with people who brighten your day, love your yourself, and just breathe.

I like to inspire others to take actively participate in their own healing.

My Perfect Day

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

I wake up just before the sun rises, say a quick prayer, stretch and jump out of bed.  I munch on a granola bar as I fill my water bottle, and get my gear ready for an hour’s bicycle ride on my red Trek Navigator.   Before I leave the house, I give my husband a kiss, and tell him it’s time to get up.  When I return home, I jump in the pool for a nice cool down then take a quick shower.  After I’ve showered and dressed, I start a pot of coffee and fry a couple of eggs in coconut oil.

After breakfast, I go into my room to meditate, pray, and center myself.  I walk down the hall to my home office to check emails and voice mail.  I’ve been busy lately traveling around the country for workshops and book signing tours.   The workshops I attend are part of a movement in the mental health field on raising awareness of the holistic healing of the mind and body.  Many mental health professionals and advocates are collaborating to change the way people presenting with mental illness symptoms are treated.  They are inspired by my book, Dear Sophia, Love Yourself!  I make a few calls to accept or decline offers.  My wonderful assistant gently knocks on the door and enters.  We greet each other and I tell her my dilemma of balancing my time.  She lovingly suggests video conferencing.  Yes!

The doorbell rings and my first client of the day has come to work out in my home gym.  It’s a simple program of offering exercise equipment and assistance to women who want to work out in privacy and a little encouragement along the way.  I also give table talk wisdom, energy healing, and inspiration for those who request it.  After an hour, the next client arrives.  She has brought her two small children with her since she is a stay at home mother and doesn’t have a baby sitter.  My assistant and I provide fun activities for them like coloring, reading and playing with toys while she exercises.   After one more client, it’s lunch time.   My assistant and I eat a salad together and catch up on what’s going on in our lives.

After lunch, I head down to the community center where I co-lead a Laughter Club.  It’s a blast as always and the numbers are growing.  I head back home, it’s the perfect time to work on my next book for about an hour.  I sit on my comfy patio chair near a lovely water fountain, blooming plants, and surrounded by crystals.  It’s the perfect setup to inspire my stories and daydream.  I write for about an hour then I allow my eyes to rest for a quick snooze to rejuvenate.

When I am ready, I start dinner and prepare for when my family arrives to have a sit down meal with them.   Everyone is happy we’re having my favorite meal again; it’s spaghetti and meat balls with garlic toast!   After dinner, everyone chips in to clean up.  Then we watch TV or play our favorite board games before jumping in the pool for pool games.  I wind down with a hot bath and drift off into sleep land with my husband by my side.

 

Showing Up

When I used to struggle with mental illness, I felt very lonely. Besides my counselor, I didn’t know very many people who understood what I was going through. Sometimes it was self imposed isolation. I avoided people because I didn’t trust them. I worried about triggers and being judged. Now, many years later and I no longer have those problems. I show up for life and I’m not lonely. Today, I know that if there is no one around me, life still shows up. The sun still rises. When it goes down, the moon greets me and the stars twinkle brightly that there is life and there is hope for me. The leaves on the tree cling or fall. The water flows or is stagnant but it’s there The flowers bloom. They’re saying, “We are here!” At times when feeling utterly alone or lost in our head, it’s important to get outside and notice nature. Notice who shows up. Is it the sun or the moon? Is it the snow or rain? Is it the wind? Is it simply the ground on which you stand? And to cement the idea you re not alone, speak with nature with a hearty “hello” and “thank you!” It makes a difference because no one is ever truly alone.

While on the subject of feeling lonely, I might as well say that there are others who are lonely as well. When I was struggling with mental illness it’s true there were some who didn’t understand. And some I just didn’t trust. I didn’t need to expect everyone to be too busy for me and not understanding. Some are not too busy and are understanding. If someone is brushing me off, I understand now that they are not the ones for me. It doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone. It’s just that one person. I didn’t need to give up on people.

There is another element to this. Someone out there is depending on you and me to show up. Someone who is accustomed to seeing you whether happy or sad. It lifts their spirit to know you are alive. They want to hear and know about you during the good and the bad times. These are those precious few to hold on to and seek out. They are there but sometimes I was so caught up in my own stuff, I didn’t notice it. We learn, grow and heal within the context of relationships and community. Interacting with others is important as long as they are the right ones. I personally try to seek out positive people to hang out with. I take a positive attitude everywhere and smile at others so they know they are not alone. We all need to show up for our lives. There is only one me and one you. No one else can do what I do or you. I’m one of a kind. Oh and I am awesome at being me, too! No, I’m not a perfect person but I’m perfectly me.