Living Fully…. “Bucket List” style! Come on NASCAR!!!

When my life took a serious turn, swerved out of control then crashed and burned violently 6 years ago in a devastating end of the family I had lovingly and painstakingly created and nurtured, I was forced to take a very solemn internal assessment.

“What did I want to be when I grew up……. this time?”  I had already dreamed the dream, fostered and fed that dream and birthed the reality of it with near impeccability.  I was raised and groomed to be a “no-holds barred” mother, homemaker extraordinaire, homebirther, homeschooler, holistic health expert, gardener, organic chef, doting wife and partner, church volunteer and devotee, community outreach leader, ongoing student, and fitness advocate.  Tall order…… yes?  I was undaunted.

How do I dream again?  How on earth would I know what I wanted when I had mastered the art of taking dictation from without and obediently ascribing?  Did I even know what I wanted or how to listen to that part of myself anymore?

The only thing left to do was to do something I was afraid of.  Yep, I had to stir myself up internally and step out onto the proverbial ledge… and leap!  So I did!  I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, with a highly reliable, ex-military jump expert attached to my backside, but jump I did….. with enthusiasm and glee!   And “something” mighty powerful awoke within me….. my solar plexus gasped for air for the first time in over a decade and wailed a loud infant wail of “YES”!!!  I AM ALIVE!  I AM AWAKE!  I AM BACK BABY AND I AM HERE TO STAY!!!

Shortly thereafter I made a log that would soon after be referred to as a “bucket list” made popular by a movie that shortly followed, and it would hold every adventure that somewhat awed or frightened me that I knew I must dare to take on.

Since that time I have skydived twice, rode an electric bull, sang public karaoke solo, danced on a bar, dropped backward into a zipline ride, parasailed in the gulf, flew shotgun in a helicopter, simulated skydive in a wind tunnel, ridden “bikeweek” on a motorcycle chopper, scuba dived, and most recently, rode an official NASCAR solo on the ride of my life!

As it is my desire to maintain the divine claim of living fully in my body, mind and spirit, I regularly expose myself to opportunities such as this.  In all honesty, driving a NASCAR independent of a driving supervisor unnerved me immensely, which was exactly the point.  This was grossly exacerbated by the fact that the security information video presented to all drivers that intended to take their lives into their own hands that day, was completely glitchy.  It ended up being narrated by the “no-nonsense” well weathered staff member that spared us no details regarding the layout of the track, definitions of the major turns and markers, but managed to discuss how many ways we could flip our stock car and uncontrollably careen into the infamous wall. 

The handful of brave souls that had purchased the same “NASCAR Experience” that I had for that day were left vacant of pertinent safety details, and equally vacant expressions.

By the time they suited me up with the official helmet and gear, established radio control to the track boss and very efficiently strapped me into my driver seat to the point of constriction, I realized that I was beyond human help.  As a matter of fact the dials displayed across the dash were indiscernible to me and there didn’t appear to be time to figure them out before I was sent out onto the foreign track ill prepared.

In that precise moment, all that I had gleaned from past knowing and experience became crystal clear…… I was Divinely supported by my steadfast Guidance that absolutely had my back and I had the distinct ability to “feel” my way through this insanely cool experience.  So I shut out the world and eased into an acceleration and visceral thrill that every soul should have the opportunity to own.  The track boss broke my silent world with brief but eager compliments and encouragement to move to the next band of speed.  I smiled at his challenge and leaned more into the accelerator, howling at the rush of the vehicle underneath me.  One round and I am cheering myself aloud….. a second round and I am mastering this thing,… rushing past another driver on the 3rd turn I take it up a notch and by the 4th rounding of the track I have grown a savvy new skin for this speed thing and I am owning it!  I obediently dropped my speed at the end of my “personal NASCAR experience” and slowed into Pit Row flawlessly and brought my Jack Daniels mobile to a purring halt.

YES!  This IS mindfulness!  This is the experience of being fully embodied, alive in my skin and completely connected with my Solar Plexus and the desires that it’s wisdom reveals to me.  This is what it is to live the life unlived and make it my own.  And there is so much more to come!  The hot air balloon ride has been scheduled for a warm May afternoon at sunset….. and then, who knows?  What a life!

What life are you choosing and is that life worthy of you?

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The Art of Investing in Oneself

What does it really mean to “invest” in oneself?  At what level do we take time to cultivate who we are and decide that it’s time to broaden or embellish how we interact in the world?  What is necessary to examine about ourselves?  What pieces may be missing that could be acquired?

Personally I am always driven to learn more, as I have it in my nature to be the perpetual student.  While I deeply believe that at our essence each of us is intuitively in touch with the “all that is” and thereby inherently know everything there is to know, remembering all that sometimes poses a problem….. yes?

While the concept of Universal Consciousness suggests that all energy and thereby all knowledge is accessible to each of us, how exactly do we go about grasping the tidbits we are interested in?  What secret corridor of our minds must we access to tap into the wisdom of the ages?

Let’s be honest… It’s the most rewarding when we are hit with an enormous “Aha!” moment.  Transcendent and exhilarating epiphany can catapult our understanding into untold realms, if we only allow ourselves to reach for them.  How do we get into that flow?

For me, the answer is simple…… by humbly remaining the receptive “STUDENT“.  When there is a desire to learn, we are teachable.  If we have it in our tightly wound little heads that we have figured everything out that pertains to us, we live very, very small.  By realizing that every experience that we have and every soul we encounter in our day-to-day is a potential opportunity for learning, growing, and knowing we stay teachable.

I have always had an insatiable appetite for reading, taking classes, listening with earnest ear to the wise insights of my elders.  I think that because of this burning desire I have had the most exquisite ability to align myself with the golden stream of what I call “Divine Data Download”.  Basically what I am describing is an openness to the Universe catching my receptivity and giving me more than what the opportunity would otherwise teach me through my 5 senses.   The infusement of etheric information is made available because I am receptive and permeable to it!

Have you had these epiphanies?  Have you experienced a crystal clarity of knowing something internally, simply by being open?

So how do we solicit these chance occasions and create more of them in our lives?  By receptively embracing the role of the student, of course!

My most recent experience in direct study was completing my examinations and thesis for my Masters in Metaphysics two years back.  I have decided that short of excuses that could be innumerable, I intend to continue my studies for life and have begun my preparation for completing my dissertation towards my doctorate.  Why not?  In this day and age the opportunities to continue our adult education are limitless. 

If you are drawn to learn, then LEARN!  If you are called to serve through acquiring skills and modalities through credentials, certifications, degrees and other modes of learning… give your self that gift of growth!

When we keep ourselves keenly aligned with the stream of receiving greater understanding, we give ourselves an unfathomable gift!  Investing in ourselves.    How do you perceive this investment?  How can you make it joyful, artful and celebratory? 

YOU DESERVE IT!  

Road trips and “In-laws” and traffic,… oh my!

The joys of life can only be fully savored when there is a degree of “balance” in our lives. 

How do you choose to manage the duties, responsibilities, relationships and professional commitments that are yours to grow and maintain?

My “first” life’s focus was nearly exclusively on family.  I was raised to be my mother.  She personified the consummate homemaker, mother, charitable volunteer, wife, neighbor, church goer and coordinator extraordinaire!  It was clear to me and each of my 4 other sisters that she was the goal, or at least the role she played and how she played it.

I tried that dance, for the most part rather successfully, always placing my husband and children first in every equation, avidly studying in my holistic profession and applying its benefits directly and almost exclusively to my family first.  My years of education, travelling abroad in pursuit of knowledge and growing my career came to a standstill.  I had my priorities and I was expected to fulfill them.  I even found that I wanted to.

But as all life’s roads diverge and challenge us with new opportunities, I too found myself in new territory as a single mother and provider of my 4 children and was genuinely lambasted by the demands each of my new vocations required of me.  Where were the hours to be a full-time mother?  I still have children requiring homeschooling, which I provided up until that point, how to address my children’s’ educational needs?  Who will make the meals, read the endless school papers and put the children to bed?  How on earth are all these other single, professional mothers doing this?  Who, for heaven’s sake has time to volunteer in the school or show up for the dreaded parent-teacher conferences?

I was completely displaced.  I had many, many anxious questions and eventually I realized that I simply wasn’t going to be stellar in every single one of my endeavors!  Really?  OH YES!

So what was most important to me, personally?  What were my emerging values and where was my precious time going to be the most meaningful?

I decided immediately that my previous values and heartfelt devotion to family was still primary and unshakable.  My children would only BE children for a short time and those years could never be recalled and lived fully once gone.

At that time and today, I find my balance in the day-to-day while holding my anchored notion that they, my children and now, my new husband, came first.  Now that doesn’t mean that I drop a client to take the family for ice cream.  What that means is I haven’t shifted the drive to grow and serve through my practice at the expense of my dearest ones.

So, this summer we took several, scattered weeks off to attend my family reunion in Colorado and my husbands reunion in upstate New York.  We had an impromptu weekend with dear friends in Myrtle Beach. We turned these trips into memory building extravaganzas!  We filled each juicy moment with adventures and thrills, to include ziplining through the majestic Rocky Mountains, packing ourselves en mass into an overfull Rockies baseball game and enduring the waves of rainstorms unshaken, singing and cursing through the gridlock and traffic of the New Jersey turnpike, insatiably playing rounds of canasta with the in-laws, storming through New York City with the aunts and uncles conquering one city block at a time, and being lulled into slumber under a full moon over the water, on a blow up mattress off the balcony of our friends overfull condo!  

Did I lose business?  Did my income diminish somewhat?  Was I as rested as I could have been if I had chosen to stay home and serve more clients, teach more workshops or write more blogs?  Perhaps.  Was it totally and completely worth it?  YOU BET!

You see, the Universe is unending abundance,… the ultimate giver.  There was more clients to be met, more business to be made and many more dollars to show up in my life.

The point is, I am finding my balance.  I am living fully, loving completely and holding time in precious now that it is.  And enjoying it too!

Have you found yours?  Carpe Diem!!!

Staying True to Course…..

Upward and onward!  Being in a state of flow is not entirely an automatic experience for many of us and getting ourselves into the right state of mind, feeling and being may require taking deliberate action.

But first…. where is your internal energy level?  Do you have the reserves to fuel your intentions?  Do you know how to re-fuel your being sufficiently?  Have you fed yourself well, provided your body the kindness of a nap?

I was misled early in the rebirth of my career, into believing that multi-tasking was a fantastic skill to master and the more tasks I had spinning around me the more I would be accomplishing.  We have all heard the term, “kill two birds with one stone”.  It’s been part of our cultural heritage to believe that stillness is often idle and multi-tasking is productive busy-ness.

So when energy wanes and intuition runs scarce between intervals of activity along life’s path… what is being called for? 

“Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain un-moving
till the right action arises by itself?” ~ Lao Tzu

Often we forget that when a void of activity and vision arises, it is indeed time to refill our wells.  It is time to nap,.. to dream.  What is being called for is a “divine data download” meant to revitalize our efforts and bring new meaning to our happenings. 

Running full force will burn us out.  Being “ON” in a fixed and permanent way is the fastest path to fizzling out.  Or should I say turning “OFF”?  Quiet time is necessary and today as I take quiet reflective time I recognize that this is the way of all of life.  It is the way of the earth and the seasons.

Remember to take restful and replenishing seasons and respect yourself enough to embrace them when they arise.  Life will unfold. 

Why not show up well rested, refreshed and at your very best?

Messages everywhere!.. But who has time to listen?

My Totem had a message for me……

So once you make a decision to listen more earnestly to your inner longing, create new expectations, make major shifts,…..the challenges arise.
My life’s experiences have taught me that the Universe is always listening… and is always speaking to me.  As a matter of fact, the “Universe” is always desperately trying to get the attention of each and every one of us!
We take the methods for granted, write them off as coincidences, accidents or merely our imagination, but let’s be honest,.. sometimes, deep down we JUST KNOW.  Every one of us is inherently intuitive. We just don’t trust ourselves enough to look for it. We are blind to how quickly our questions are anwered, how immediately our guidance comforts us, or notice that we instinctively feel into the most ideal choice when presented with many.
So when our focus is set to fine tune our objectives, set goals and achieve milestones, it is then that unforseen “challenges” knock us flat on our lovely derriers.   What do we do to keep upright?
It’s so very easy to get hard on ourselves.  Tough love comes up and internal disciplines rattle on in our brains about how we should be sucking it up, moving faster, being more productive and why on earth did we let ourselves get derailed in the first place?!
Ssshhhhh……… mhmmmm.  Sshhh.  Sweet childhood flashbacks of youthful frivolity and inate safety roll through me like a warm chocolate bubble bath.  Ahhhh, that felt so yummy!  Can I stay here?  Uh,…nope!   Back in the saddle again, nose to the grindstone, tasks at hand, people to please… go, go go!
As I raced down the street, multi-tasking and purposeful I nearly run over a small family of deer, leeping unexpectedly into the road!  Whoa!  Good grief!  Good thing I am a skilled driver and was looking… that was certainly inconvenient!  Upward and onward!
And then a very similar scenario took place two more times in less than 72 hours.
Yes, I live in a heavily wooded area of the triangle, but when the Universe masquerading as chance places a symbolic message in front of me that many times in short order, it’s what many refer to and I like to call, a totem.
It’s a message from the Universe, using the only tools the Universe has to get our attention in a physical world,… the world itself.  Animal totems were highly regarded and deeply understood by native people and were taken into account when brought to attention in a profound way.  Now don’t go looking up totem meanings for your pet shih zhu because you may have tripped over her in the night.  This is where intuition comes in.  You instictively know when an event or symbol out of the ordinary shows up for you.
So, the message of the deer is as follows:  “Deer’s medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, with grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance. Understand what’s necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, and ability to sacrifice for the higher good and see alternative paths to a goal .
From the deer we can learn that the gift of gentleness and caring can help us overcome and put aside many testing situations. Only love, both for ourselves and for others, helps us understand the true meaning of wholeness.
Deer has entered your life to help you walk the path of love with full consciousness and awareness, to know that love sometimes requires caring and protection, not only in how we love others, but also in how we love ourselves.
People with this power animal are often described as being swift and alert. They are intuitive, often seeming to possess well developed, even extrasensory perceptions. Sometimes their thoughts seem to race ahead, and they appear not to be listening, to be somewhere else. Anyone with power animal has latent clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities. 
Deer teaches us to be gentle, to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are in our lives. Don’t push people to change, rather gently nudge them in right direction, with the love that comes from deer. Love and accept people as they are. The balance of true power lays in love and compassion.
When a Deer totem enters your world, a new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened. New adventures are just around the corner and there will be an opportunity to express the gentle love that will open new doors for you.”
So the generous guidance, that is mine, attempted to speak to me with the loving and gentle rush of innocent memory but I only basked in the feeling momentarily and missed the depth of the message.  Three near fatal encounters with the local deer population and I am finally waking up to clear the mental fog and listen.
Yes, the goals that I set and the milestones that I achieve are very important.  But what is equally necessary is for me to be mindful of the process with patience and gentleness.  I am blessed to hold the innocence alive within me and mirror the same acceptance of imperfection and unconditional love I aspire for within myself, to all those journeying around me.  I am lovingly cautioned to trust my intuition and embrace the messages it holds for me.
Challenges will arise.  Events may derail me.  My heart may sink with frustration, fear of failure, pain of loss.  And,.. all the while, I am supported.  If I will but only listen.