Overwhelming Life

A year ago today I sat in a hospital waiting area. Wishing beyond everything this was not happening. I prayed, lost as I was. It was such a daunting diagnosis my mom received. Not just breast cancer but renal cancer as well.


I could step away, take a breath, she could not. Mom fought on. It has been an overwhelming year. I’ve never thought of myself as a caregiver but in my quiet moments alone with introspection, I most certainly am and though I am not perfect. I love perfectly in my care giving.
Mom’s oncologist gave her a “cancer free” label last week. Life is most certainly a journey. These are my words as I sat, waiting, a year ago.

“Earrings from my Seestor, ring from Aunt Dorothy, necklace from Michelle in honor of Grams, yeah I’ve got the women I love surrounding me.”


Congratulations mom! Here’s to many more anniversaries!

What To Write?

frustratedwriter-250x167Writing is not for the faint of heart. These little letters, mixed together to form words, strung along to form a sentence, then squashed into groups to be titled “paragraphs”, do not always come easy. Let us not even delve into the writing of a book yet, with the myriad of chapters, forewords, acknowledgments, and so on. The words jumble together. The ideas fizzle as life whirls by. The confidence as you scrawled the first words fades. The computer screen glares back at you expectantly. And you sit….waiting….editing….writing….deleting.

Minds are a fickle expanse.

Desire to write grows in your heart. That tell-tale tickle that begins for each author at different times in each of our lives. It is just a thought, at first. Maybe a journal that becomes more of a story to an outsider looking in. Maybe a character on the street that inspires a character in book. It begins and no writer can predict where it might end.

Ability to write comes from your mind. So the tickle in your heart has become “hell-itch” (like the kind you get after a nasty sunburn). You can’t ignore it any longer, so you start. Your mind settles into, what you think is organization, and your fingers begin to put together all the words floating around in that grey goo between your ears. It is like learning to walk. You stumble through the first few lines, you fall in love with your delete button~no one really talks like that. Then they just start rolling. Words coming out of thin air. Smoothly gliding from your mind to the tips of your fingers.

It is magic.

Focus to publish your writing comes from your soul. So now after years and tomes of stories/articles/poems/thoughts/books/scrawlings, it is time. It is time to dig into the most scared of areas in your being and publish. Your words are your soul. Your desire to write has been overtaken by your desire to share. Those still moments when the kids were sleeping, the tears late at night when the only escape were the words, the chaos in your hospital rooms after surgeries, now it is time to share. The focus required to publish consistently becomes a part of your waking moments. No one in your life is exempt from your writing. Teenagers are editors. Best friends are sounding boards for ideas. Family members are marketing gurus. When did this happen? How did this happen?

So you cultivated your heart, mind, and soul. You nurtured the relationship to expose the raw parts of yourself. What happens if you stop?

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Life

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Life points us in the direction we need to be moving. Our faiths take us to places we feel we need to be. No longer should we be confined to small sections of this planet nor should we be led to massive monuments with the destination being the only experience we enjoy.

Tourism is dead. The traditional, move from point A to point B, way of touring this magical sphere is over.  The days of experiential travel are here!

Travel is alive! 

But wait, you ask, ‘I thought that was the business you are in?’ Soul Experiences is in the Experiential Group Travel industry.  If you Google search ‘Tourism’, ‘Group Travel’, ‘Tour and Travel’, ‘Tours’, you will find us and a myriad of other tourism companies. These are words you will here from us still but our focus is the journey, together. Sure we will see lots of the “must sees” of this world but while we are rolling down the road to our destination the journey will be exceptional.  Gone are the days of disconnected tour guides and questions left unanswered!

Do not cling to the familiar, explore the journey! Every time we travel we learn. We learn we are more alike in our differences than we once believed. We learn we need experiences to grow and be fulfilled. Experiences are not gained exclusively by aging. Wisdom from our age, only adds to our soul experiences. Experiences are the stepping stones of a fulfilled, soulful life’s journey.

Travel Well My Friends!

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Ashes To Ashes

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“The ashes on my forehead do not represent my wrongness.  They represent His rightness.”-KR

In all my years wandering on this planet, I have never understood a person’s ability to say they are not spiritual.  The encounters with stubborn atheists and fanatical ‘bible thumpers’ all revolve around one central issue, our souls.  The mysterious part of us that makes us…us.  It drives who we are, who we choose to be, and who we will become.  Our soul is a very broad term, which truly encapsulates, how a person views themselves.  Yet, how can a living, breathing, person not be spiritual.  We all have a soul and that soul is what makes us a spiritual being.

On this reverent day in the church year, we remember we were dust and to dust we shall return.  I will attend church with my boys this evening to have those words spoken over each of us.  It helps me to remember we are a fleeting glimpse out the window of the universe’s travels.  My spiritual/soulful self will embrace that reminder, again.

May you find peace in your soul, love in your heart and a joyful spirit that embraces your own spirituality.

Travel well my friends.

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Embrace Love

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Love is the greatest gift of all.  It takes us places in our hearts, it touches our souls and reminds us how our body and mind can fool each other.  Love wraps us in a warm cocoon of safety.  So whether it is a love between parent and child, or an all encompassing love between lovers, be sure you embrace love.  Embrace the security, and happiness that reside with love.

Travel well friends. 

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What am I supposed to hear?

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My life is a series of events that seem to crash into one another.  There aren’t enough hours in a day.  I have not learned to clone myself to be at multiple places at the same time.  Mundane routines seem to cloud the exceptional.  Daily life jumbles together to make a scrambled collage of unfinished projects, work, and social life.  

Then, every now and again, I stop.  I truly listen to what my heart is telling me.  I watch the world around me.  I feel how things are flowing, and I make a change.  The change does not need to be earth shatteringly huge.  For I am not Superman needing to save Lois Lane from certain death by causing the world to spin backwards on its axis.  I am me.  Not cloned, not superhuman, just me.  I like me, even if it is hard to accomplish some goals or stay on task with others.  I like to mix up the mundane.  I love to flit from one life event to the other.  The adrenaline I feel from minor stress keeps me moving forward to accomplish all I have set on my shoulders.

So when you are feeling overwhelmed, please, take a moment to breathe.  Take in the world around you for just a moment or two.  Always remember your babies won’t be babies forever, the dishes can wait, deadlines are a goal not the guillotine, and most of all, listen to your heart.

Travel well my friends.  

Secret Getaways

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Take me away to a snow filled place

Just you and I

Where the cold welcomes me

My breath freezes on the wind

It is my dream to sleep beneath

the stars with snow all around

A magical place of snow and ice

You are my warmth, my shelter

I want to wake to the sunrise

surrounded by a sea of white

Just you and I

Your arms encircle me

We are alone in the snowy land

I find peace in the icy quiet

Noises muted on the snow covered world

Crystals shimmer like the dust from a fairy

No tropical masses

No sun drenched beach

Just you and I beneath the stars

Snuggled in out of the cold

with soft blankets and each other

Just you and I

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Anticipation

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We live in a world of instant gratification.  Our documents can be received in the blink of an eye.  We are able to call anyone, anywhere, anytime, we choose.  News travels at the speed of light.  What happens when we stop to truly wait for something?

Wait for it….

Are you still with me?….

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Finally the moment arrives!  The anticipation of an event bursts into reality.  Like bubbles floating on the wind, bursting at the slightest touch of a blade of grass.  The wait is over!

The past few months have been an epic marathon of anticipation for me.  I had to wait for my favorite holiday.  Then I had to wait again for another.  Christmas couldn’t get here soon enough.  The celebrations of birthdays stood patiently in line waiting to be noticed. Snowfall in my region was waited on by me (alone, I think).  2015 couldn’t get here soon enough.  I happily ushered out 2014 and embraced the start of a new year!  With all the activity around me I have not been on a roadtrip in a while.

My anticipation is nearing it’s end!  I leave in just a few short hours on my first family roadtrip of 2015!  I love traveling in the winter.  The cool crisp air is refreshing when you step out of your vehicle, for a much needed stretch.  Traffic is lessened by the absent vacationers.  The scenery is clear, vistas are not hampered by foliage.  I feel free!

As I gather all the added essentials for our winter excursion, I feel warm.  The cozy moments gathered with loved ones feel….warmer.  The warm splash of an indoor swimming pool, while you look out the huge picture windows at snow drifts, feels warmly refreshing. The smiles of the kiddos warm your heart and soul.  The wind will howl.  The snow may fall. The winter weather will continue to slow travel plans.  Yet it is the anticipation of this winter roadtrip that makes all the extras worth it.

Travel well my friends!

From Endings to Beginnings

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This is the greeting I was raised with.  From my very earliest years of adulthood I remember signing all my Christmas cards with this salutation.  I realize today that my Christmas celebrating also encompasses so many other celebrations.  I love all the variety in our amazing world.  I feel energized when talking with friends and family about their different celebrations.  Although I did not grow up in the midst of diverse cultures, I grew up with culture.  A family who embraced differences, while continuing our own traditions.  My family also consumes knowledge with fervor that rivals the Tasmanian Devil chasing Bugs Bunny.  This love of knowledge propels me to learn all I can about this wonderful world.  I carry our traditions with me in my daily life that are immersed with diversity.

On this, the first day of a brand new year, I feel hung-over with all the holiday celebrations.  The gifts are given, the parties in clean up stages, the mountains of food consumed, the hugs and best wishes are bestowed.  I loved all the activity but now as I clean up and prepare for the coming quiet of the post holidays season I feel…no better words for it…hung-over.

May your 2015 lead you on an adventure of self discovery, spiritual growth and love that encompasses your soul.  Be well, be happy, be loving.

Travel well my friends!

Listen

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Do you hear a voice? 

Not the radio

Not the TV

Not the endless yammering of the city

Do you hear a voice?

The voice of the loved one who needs you but isn’t sure how to ask.  The small melodic voice of a child asking the same question over and over again. The droning voice of your boss reviewing quarterly statements with you. The authoritative voice of an administrator admonishing something you love. The seductive voice of your lover calling you back to bed.  The prayerful voice of your soul reaching out to the silence in your heart.

Listen to the voices that speak to you. Listen with a fervor to hear what another is really saying. Take the time to stop, listen and respond if needed. Only when we truly listen do we truly hear what our hearts want.