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Time to Unwind

10 Jul

It’s a quiet day in my little corner of Oahu. It’s Saturday and I’ve enjoyed the luxury of settling in a bit, extended time relaxing in bed and then getting organized and sorting things a bit. I have to be honest, for me everything is a little better in Hawaii. Even a Saturday at home cleaning and organizing can feel pretty good. The beautiful blue sky, the drizzles of rain sneaking through the sky on a perfectly sunny day. While I am not on a beach at my current location, you can feel the ocean just going outside – some sort of additional lightness permeating the air and feeding the soul. While cleaning today I felt inspired to put on a little Billy Joel and couldn’t help but feel my father, who passed away seven year ago, smiling down on me as I danced and sang to those familiar songs of my youth.

I am so grateful to have returned for “round two” of housesitting on Oahu. With things in the country and world opening up, the island has picked up quite a bit. But for the most part, I still remain with my steady beat. A gentle pace. Enjoying time on the homefront and adventures out in nature and around the island.

This past Thursday I was at one of my favorite beaches, Kailua Beach, just enjoying the day. Ah so good. As someone who arrived here first during the quiet of quarantine, it is quite something to take in the difference. Summer has arrived. I couldn’t help but take in the pure joy and enthusiasm I felt amongst the crowds on the beach. So happy to be there. So much enthusiasm for being out in the joy of Hawaii and summer. It felt like a celebration.

Not long ago I was fortunate to join a little meditation group in the community where I am housesitting. With so much time on my own housesitting in the midst of the odd year, this little group is a gentle venture back out into the world. This time a bit separate from it all plus being in Hawaii has been the perfect mixture to continue to nurture and enjoy the beauty of being connected within. And the meditation group feels like a way of beginning to celebrate that joy in earnest with others.

Like many I have felt my own growing pains along the way. But equally so is the appreciation of the growing wisdom and insights as I explore and understand further what works for me, what makes me tick and some notions of what will serve me as we emerge back into the world… in our own way, at our own pace. Each of us altered by the experience.

I had a little chat at the beach the other day with a mom from Boston. In even just a casual conversation, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of connection in the shared experience that all of us have been through in the last year.

Here are a few photos from this time on Oahu to bring a little of her joy, celebration and beauty your way! So grateful to be here. So grateful for this time!

Return to the Islands

17 May

It’s been a while since I have dropped a line to share a bit of my story and journey. The truth is for me with so much shift, change, questions and uncertainty happening in the world around us I find I have equally the same stirrings on the inside. It feels like a good time, even a necessary time, to step back a little further, reflect, and be with all the whacky feelings and adjustments on the inside as well as those whirling about in the world right now. 

The good news is that I am back in Hawaii. When I returned to Texas a few months ago, I knew it was likely I would get to return to resume my wonderful housesit on Oahu just beyond Honolulu. My time in Texas was appreciated but just the same filled with a fair share of modest discomforts, ups and downs. Some of that was merely the adjustment to “not being in Hawaii” after three months of softer energy, warm moderate weather, tropical landscapes, blue skies and rainbows around every bend. But still there were many things I appreciated about my Texas respite nestled in my sweet little temporary abode.

As my time in Texas was growing to a close, I faced once again the dilemma of what to do with my car. There was no obvious choice of a workable place to keep it long term that was also close to my current location outside Austin, TX.  So I looked about for options, drove myself a little mad and in the end just shouted a prayer out for help and let it go.

In the wake of this, as things sometimes go, I found myself at a local storage facility exploring the option to park it long term. While he didn’t have any parking space available, as “fate” would have it… he was interested in buying my car. So I just went with it, we took it for a spin and by the end of the day he made an offer to buy it. And another day later, it was done. My car was sold and I would soon be off to Hawaii again.

In the midst of this adjustment, I had just a few more things to tend to. Prior to my first trip to Hawaii I had already slimmed down my modest collection of belongings that I kept in my SUV as I drove about the country from housesit to housesit. Now with my car sold and just a very small load – a few plastic bins, some bedding and a few other miscellaneous items – I had to make some quick new choices before I departed for Hawaii. With such a modest amount of items, it didn’t make sense to rent a storage unit. So I took another small leap and got down to the nitty gritty with sorting out the last of my belongings and would only keep what I could pack in my suitcases. I sent a small box to my mom, mailed a few things to a friend and the rest went to the local thrift store.

It did my heart good to see the little tokens of my journey I kept and tucked away in my suitcases. The hand carved wooden spatula from a Christmas market in Vienna, the weathered picture map of Chiang Mai, my magnet collection from all of my destinations, and a modest bag of coins tracking my journey.

I have been back in Oahu for a few weeks now. Arriving this time around was different. It was good to return but still an adjustment to living on a small island after hunkering down in the big state of Texas for a few months.  It was a bit of an odd feeling as I still felt new, but yet also familiar. I felt like less of a tourist and had less of an urge to run out and explore everything and more of a desire to hunker down and lay low.

That said, there is certainly something in my heart and soul that is just undeniably blown away by the tropical beauty of the island. It is an unmistakable pleasure to have the luxury to just take off to the North Shore for the afternoon, sink into the sand and bask in the beauty of the incoming waves and surrounding mountains and landscape.

It does seem that traffic has returned to Oahu since I was last here.  Places that I casually went to before are now loaded with folks and it seems that this time around a little more strategy will be needed to avoid the crowds and even…. simply get a parking spot. That said, I certainly consider myself fortunate to have had a pocket of time here when there really weren’t many people around.

And today, well, it’s a beautiful day.  It’s warm but there’s a gentle breeze outside keeping things feeling soft and cool. The yellow trumpet flowers are blossoming out back.  And earlier with a practically clear blue sky, it was raining… what I have heard described as liquid sunshine.

So I will leave you for now – hunkered down and happy in Hawaii.  How are things in your neck of the woods?  It’s always good to hear from you!

At Home in Texas

17 Mar

It’s a coolish, almost spring morning and I am bundled under the covers in my temporary home in Texas.  With a bit of chagrin, I got on a plane a few weeks ago, left Hawaii at the completion of my housesit and returned to Texas for now.

Admittedly, there were some “good feelings” to returning to Texas.  It was… comforting in some ways to return to a more substantial mass of land and more “traditional” American life.  I landed in the Austin area and beyond where I find the land in the outlying areas grounding and comforting. The weather has been… a little bit of an adjustment. Thankfully I returned post “snowmageddon” but still cold to me after three months on Oahu! I broke out my fall and winter clothes which were grateful to receive a little attention like my lovely flowered scarf from Austria, my warmer merino wool sweaters and flannel pjs.

I have landed for now in a longer-term airbnb about an hour outside of Austin. It’s a sweet old home that was an original home in this area and the center of a dairy farm at its origin. The current owners and hosts have gone out of their way to be welcoming and helpful. I am fortunate to have the company of a small collection of deer who take daily respite in the backyard plus a modest assortment of curious neighborhood cats.

This time for me is a bit of a “pit stop.” Time to tend to some of the practicals of life for mind, body and soul. Time to reset, ponder and consider a bit in the midst of some down time with new possibilities on the horizon.

In the interim I am revisiting an “old friend” in the book The Artist’s Way.  I have joined up with a remote group of folks through a connection from when I was housesitting in Lawrence, KS.  It feels so good to revisit some of the Artist’s Way tools like the Morning Pages and affirmations.  It seems like a perfect time to give a little attention to strolling along on this gentle journey.

So for now, grateful and happy for a place to land. Comforted in the quiet brisk morning and the sun shining.  And satisfied in some of the simple joys in life, soulful pleasures and the stirring of new possibilities.

In Love with Oahu

1 Dec

Well I did it. I packed up my stuff. Got rid of some of it. Managed to fit way more essential oils and supplements into my suitcases than I imagined I could and hit the road. Only this time I didn’t quite hit the road…. because I couldn’t.  Instead I boarded an airplane and was island bound. I am in Hawaii.

Recently I hit a barren patch on my house sitting journey and was grateful to be nestled for a few weeks in the midwest in my mother’s home. In the midst of this limbo time I did what I have learned and continue to learn to do… take a step back and allow things to unfold. And unfold they did. Quite unexpectedly. As it sometimes happens on my journey, in the blink of an eye I had two new housesits on my plate which brought a quick redirection. First stop, a return to Austin for a month-long housesit. Second stop, a housesit on the island of Oahu.

I knew there was a possibility out there that a housesit could come together in Hawaii. I made a connection through an on-line gathering of a spiritual community I enjoy. They mentioned they may have a need for a housesitter in the coming months. As someone with experience with things ebbing and flowing, coming and going… I was grateful for the possibility, stayed open to it but also had no expectation or attachments that it would or wouldn’t work out.

And then one day it happened. I got the word. What do you do when someone invites you to housesit in Hawaii?  You say “Yes, please! Thank you!”

Don’t get me wrong…as much as my life has gone with the flow this past decade, I did run into my share of rough currents, resistance to change and sometimes in earnest just pure exhaustion from so much packing, unpacking and driving about. Despite the “inconvenience” of it all, my heartfelt yes quickly aligned my life in a new direction.

Also, notably so, this is my first housesitting departure where I didn’t drive my little SUV packed with the essentials of this life on the go.  As I would leave my wheels behind, I started the process of hmming and hawing over what to keep, what to leave behind and what to take along.  I was fortunate to find a spot to keep my car and remaining belongings while I am away and so now here I am!

With Hawaii’s new Safe Travels program, it was easier than I imagined to get here. I took a COVID test within 72 hours of my departing flight at an Austin Walgreens and got my negative results the same day.  From there I just needed to upload my results, complete the health survey 24 hours before departure and get my QR code.

I flew Delta airlines as I read they were tops in their COVID practices. They have updated their filter system and on my flight from Austin to LAX you could see the air from the filter circulating about like a sci-fi movie. Delta is also currently keeping the middle seat open and from LAX to Honolulu I had the whole row to myself. I slept most of the way, presented my QR code on arrival and as simple as pie I had arrived.

I met with my host and homeowner in Oahu before she left on her own flight the next morning.  She couldn’t be a more kind and generous host and I count myself lucky to be caring for her home and welcomed by her. She even left a few goodies for me to use including a great beach towel and snorkeling equipment.

Since I have arrived I have mostly been “getting my island legs,” tending to the basics and exploring some of the immediate area and territory. Even with all of my traveling experience, I still get nervous when landing in new territory. So I find I am well-served by taking my time and easing into new places.

I had the pleasure of connecting with a few folks at Unity Church of Hawaii and helped just a bit with their campus cleanup. Outdoors and masked up, it was great for even just a bit to see some new friendly faces and meet some locals. I am also fortunate to connect with the Oahu Art of Living Zoom group!  I have participated with Art of Living’s spiritual practices since I took their first course (now known as Sky Breath Meditation) back in 2007. There are regular meetups around the world for graduates and even though we can’t yet meet in person, being with the local group even on Zoom is a treat.

And just this morning… I made my first venture to the beach!  Where to go?  There are so many to choose from! As this is my first time in Hawaii, prior to my plans to come I didn’t realize that Oahu is quite small!  You can get to nearly anywhere on the island in 30 – 45 minutes! So that means, from where I am just a bit west of Honolulu, I have easy access to the whole island!

For my first beach visit I chose Kailua State Beach. Just a 30 minute drive from my current location, plus a lifeguard on duty and… it’s open! (a few locations are closed at this time), it seemed like the perfect place to start.  The drive there wound me through lush green mountains and when I arrived I felt like I landed in paradise. I mean no kidding. I have been to many places but I have never been or seen anyplace quite so lovely and naturally beautiful – from the sweet inlet of water and surrounding mountains and community to the breathtakingly blue water that enticed me like a dream.

The beach had a healthy speckling of beachgoers, enough to feel safe with others around but not so many that it felt crowded at all. There was plenty of room for and respect of social distancing in the backdrop of enchanted mountains, soft sand and welcoming waves.  I took a great walk on the beach, loaded up the sunscreen and just took it in… the unbelievableness, the unexpected oh-my of my current surroundings!

I am back at home now, always happy to be out for a little adventure but equally happy to return to that feeling of home. I feel super safe in the lovely town home community where I am housesitting surrounded with an easy feel and lush greens and palm trees.  As the coming weeks unfold, I imagine I will navigate that balance between the need and desire for downtime, rest and relaxation and the joy of exploration.

So long for now from the island of Oahu – a new little leap in life and my housesitting journey.  My best in health and happiness to all of you!

Limbocation

8 Oct

Here I am hanging out in Central Texas. I wouldn’t exactly call it a vacation. But it is at least a little sweet and serene just the same. My recent house and pet sit just completed in Austin. So often on this crooked journey at the very last minute, something workable or even remarkable comes in at the nick of time to save the day. But not this time. Not so far.

After hunkering down with family for a few months, I took the leap to head on down to Texas for a house sit. In truth, I wasn’t sure what to expect in current circumstances. Wasn’t sure how long it would last and if I would find myself heading back up to the midwest with family. So I did my best to go with the flow. And flow I did… for a little bit. A great sit in Wimberley, TX. Then a long term sit in Hill Country which – due to unforeseen circumstances – was cancelled. A little shift left. A little jolt right and… I moseyed on over to rural Texas outside Austin for a bit and then a last minute miraculous sashay back to Austin. And then…. [insert cricket noise]

So here I am… on Limbocation. Still exploring options. So far my experience is similar to that of other full time travelers. The landscape has changed. Fewer people traveling. On house sitting platforms, more house sitters vying for a handful of sits.

With that said I am open… to seeing what unfolds. A new housesit? A light caretaking job? A wonderful workable work exchange? Or perhaps something else… something unexpected… If you know of any options or opportunities, at present I am available and would love to hear about them.

With that said I am open… to seeing what unfolds. A new housesit? A light caretaking job? A wonderful workable work exchange? Or perhaps something else… something unexpected

And in the meantime I am slowly making my way back up towards the Midwest doing my best to surf the rough terrain and smell the roses along the way despite the unmistakable discomfort of it all.

How is the terrain in your corner of the world? It’s always great to hear from you!

Safe at Bear Creek

28 Sep

Greetings from Texas! A few weeks ago as my rural Texas sit came to a close, I did my best to ride the current of some unexpected rearranging and landed at one of my favorite spots on the outskirts of Austin, TX.  I was fortunate to return for a bit to the location of last winter’s long-term sit set on beautiful stretches of land along a sparkling creek. Here I am hunkered down with two of my favorite kitties doing the “kittie shuffle” – you know the one… open the door, let the cat out… open the door, let the cat in… and enjoying some time and space in a peaceful and familiar setting.

Like many, these are uncertain times for me. They are heightened due to our current world and national circumstances.  But even before this all hit, I waded through years of uncertain living.  Honestly, it’s something I never fully got used to. While I might have a little more practice with the ebb and flow, when things come down to the wire it’s been a challenge for me to keep my peace and negotiate the uncertainty.

That’s why, now more than ever, it seems like a good time to practice some of the spiritual notions that have been knocking at my door this past decade and… improve in my attention to and use of them. It’s a good time to clean up some of the debris in my “inner world.” Here are a few considerations at the forefront of my traveling house sitter/pet sitter coronavirus Jedi training.

1.  Mastering My Mind. I have to admit, as much as anyone… maybe more than others… I have a very fertile and active mind.  At times this is fun and useful, but when uncertainty peaks it is at best a distraction at worst anxiety provoking!  So as my life and the world “turns up the volume” I am making an effort to pay attention to my thoughts, to indulge  “less” in mental pathways that bear no fruit, and to simple be an observer of my thoughts and my reactions to people and circumstances rather than go along for the ride!

2.  Set My Intention for the Best. While I am watching my thoughts, I am also ramping up my practice of turning my intention towards the best. When a situation comes to mind that has potential for upset, I am practicing being conscious in seeing things work out for the best and sending warm, loving thoughts to the situation. Minimally, this practice reduces my anxiety and at best sets a framework in the fertile ground of potential.

3.  Practicing Being Present. So many teachers out there remind us that presence is where it’s at!  Fearful thoughts of the past or future simply do me no good and also can limit my access to potentiality and options available. So when the uncertainty boat goes a-rockin’ in my world, I do my best to toss that aside and reconnect here in the present moment.

4.  Being Open to My Intuition. I will never forget when I was first introduced to the world of intuition and psychic ability living in New Orleans, LA. I met an interesting… yet possibly shady character at a local coffee shop who gave me a reading that blew my socks off.  Since then life hasn’t really been the same. Before then, I had never been plugged in at all to the idea that we have access to knowledge beyond our typical senses. And while my intuition and I have had our challenges along the journey, as I continue to get quieter and connect within I am making a little extra space to notice the quiet voice within.

5.  Practicing Refraining from Judgement. This topic has flirted with me many times over the years. And I would practice it from time to time. But now more so I seem to realize that judgment of others and myself really cuts me off from all the good, the flow, and limits me.  I’ve come to imagine it like I am floating down a stream and judgment is like grabbing for the branches along the way. It just blocks me and stops things up. So for my own freedom and peace of mind, I am making an effort to practice being mindful of my judgments.

6.  Spending More Time Connected to Spirit.  In addition to my favorite spiritual practices, lately I am simply taking more time to get quiet and connect with my heart and the Divine.  As so much rattles in the world around me and the uncertainty of my own life, more and more access to the infinite seems to be where it’s at. It’s the place it “makes sense to me” to park my car, reroute my address, build my home.

And of course, I call all of this practice… because that’s what it is!  I am simply just paying a bit more attention to these things daily and reaping the small waves of gentle benefit that come my way in restored ease and peace.

Where in the world are you and how is your Jedi training going?  I’d love to hear from you!

Finding Your New Normal

20 Apr

Hey there! How is everyone doing out there? Here I am, in many ways I imagine, just like you doing my best to hunker down, lay low, play it safe and stay sane. I imagine also like you, my life has been rearranged in ways I wasn’t expecting. My living circumstances and location have changed. My surroundings have changed. My lifestyle has changed. And some days this is all okay. And other days it feels like everything just might come crumbling down. I have had my good days and I’ve had my bad moments and days.

As I was wading through some really intense emotions that I just didn’t know what to do with, I had a bit of a breakthrough. I needed to let it out. I got out my journal which had been neglected for nearly a year and wrote… and wrote and wrote. And I got out my drawing journal where I occasionally do a bit of colorful abstract meanderings, sharpened my colored pencils and just sort of went at it and… I feel a bit better. In the midst of all of this, I feel I’ve “figured out” a few things… so this is how it all looks to me.

Our lives have all wreaked havoc and our external “normal” has been stripped away. While this is uncomfortable and challenging, the opportunity here isn’t to get back to “normal” but to shift from within to a new normal. Let’s face it, our “normal” lives, while we were used to them and their familiarity, didn’t always work and left certain essential aspects of ourselves out in the cold. With our normal stripped away, it actually grants us an opportunity to disentangle from the trappings of that pattern that weren’t serving us and reconnect within to some of our inner lights that have been disconnected, forgotten, neglected or cast aside. I saw in myself all the large and small ways I had kicked important elements of myself “off the boat” for a variety of reasons – I didn’t have time, I felt I wasn’t good enough, I was more worried about making money. I was even ashamed of certain aspects of myself or too worried about what other people thought, so I ignored them or tossed them aside.

But here’s the deal, when we’re not being ourselves our lives don’t fully work. And while sometimes this may present a challenge as we feel people in our lives or society at large demand that we be a certain way, it truly is our life’s journey to become more aligned with who we really are. So as our normal is stripped away, it’s an opportunity to connect within to what feels true, soft, real for each of us personally and allow it – give it just a little breathing room to be. Through this experience we can transform from the inside out into a new normal.

Some of us may be feeling trapped, but perhaps the real trap is the myriad of ways we have cut ourselves off from our authentic selves. Access to freedom comes in reconnecting to ourselves and what is true for us if even in small ways.

So how do we do this?  I imagine this is a distinct journey for each of us, but here are few of my thoughts…

  1. Do something you love just for the joy of it. Not because it will get you something (recognition, approval, money, success) or that it is expected of you but simply because it’s a joy for you to do it. Let that be enough.
  2. Start a daily journal. It doesn’t have to be anything prolific or fancy but just a place where you can come daily to write down what’s so for you on this day. And if it inspires you, get yourself something cool, beautiful or fancy to write in.
    • Here’s a link to a pretty spiral bound notebook for journaling.
    • Here’s a great journal to revisit and chronicle your life called This Life of Mine by Anne Phyfe Palmer.
  3. Explore keeping a visual journal. This doesn’t have to be much, you can get a spiral bound blank sheet notebook and some colored pencils without much expense. Then just show up at the page daily or from time to time without judgement and just let it out.
  4. Support your journey with Young Living Essential Oils. I have to tell you, these oils have been a life saver in assisting me with moving through and transforming the emotional challenges and rocky roads that have come up recently along the journey. Favorites include Young Living Stress Away, Lavendar and Valor.  If you’re curious about these you can read more here and feel free to reach out.

One additional note of something I recognized in myself… it’s easy to blame those around us for any challenges or for feelings trapped. We’re all human – I know I am!  And truly some circumstances may work better than others or not be a fit for us. But as a starting point, I am seeing my own access to greater freedom comes from not looking outside but instead looking inside myself and beginning, one day at a time, to continue the journey of setting myself free as a launching point to a better “reality.”

Those are my musings for now from my temporary respite in the midwest. Wishing all of you the best in your own journey of excavation and finding your new normal!

Refuge

21 Mar

For over a year now I have been on the move, roaming about the country as a full-time house and pet sitter. Honestly, it’s been a time of uncertainty for me and the flexibility and change has been a way for me to stay in the flow as I continue to explore… what now and what next. I’ve been hanging out in the Austin, TX area for the past six months or so fortunate that the sits in the area have kept coming. It started with a few months in a community just outside Austin and then extended to a wonderful respite caring for two kitties on a beautiful stretch of land on a creek on the outskirts of the city limits.

More recently, I was settled for a bit in a suburban South Austin neighborhood until… you guessed it… coronavirus. Not a good time to be a housesitter. My clients were on an extended trip abroad in Southeast Asia and, as can be expected, they made a decision to come home early. Because of their travels and the risky airports they had to fly through on their way home, they were understandably asked to quarantine for fourteen days and so I had a quick window to pack up myself, prepare their home, and redirect my life for the short term.

As I am sure you can imagine, the housesitting world is quite shut down right now. My standard housesitting websites that are regularly a bounty of options if not in the neighborhood at least in the region are simply not available. I am fortunate that my mom offered for me to stay with her and so earlier this week I once again packed up the SUV and trekked from Austin to the midwest.

So here I am hunkered down in my mom’s guest bedroom surfing through some of my regular life of tending to my remote work. And like the rest of us, doing my best to stay informed while keeping that balance of not “too much.”  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t taking a toll on me. Like I am sure many of you out there, I feel anxious, nervous and overwhelmed while also simply doing my best to stay centered and at ease.

As a full-time solo traveler for much of this decade and a remote worker these past years, it would be fair to say that I have some experience with isolation. At times it can be joyful and satisfying. At other times a bit trying and maddening. Over the years I’ve done my best to appreciate the opportunity in it, seek the joy in it. That said, I can’t deny that yes, while our current circumstances are temporary, there is an unmistakable ring of confusion and anxiety in the air that makes it challenging for me to just sink in and enjoy the time.

That said, here are some of the things that I regularly lean on when the world around me feels confusing or I feel disconnected or off-kilter.

1. Reiki.  Ah Reiki. I have been practicing Reiki for nearly 15 years now. It’s a regular part of me and my life and its flow through my world is akin to breathing now. With my years of travel and someone who lives with and is healing from at times paralyzing anxiety, it has been a necessary and extraordinarily useful ingredient in making my way from point A to point B in the world and overcoming challenges and moments day to day that have me at times feeling stuck, overloaded and stopped. Regular doses of Reiki for myself and others are an important fuel that forms the basis of my daily life.

Would you like to try Reiki?  Reiki is something that can be done from a distance. Just for fun, for this coming week, I will offer four 15-minute distant Reiki treatments for free. Would you like to be one of them? Simply contact me in the next couple of days and lets set that up. If you’d like to learn more about Reiki, visit my page on Reiki.

2.  Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I have been chanting this almost daily for nearly a decade now. It’s so simple. I keep doing it because I can’t deny that when I chant things shift and I feel better. Have a little time on your hands? Try chanting for ten minutes. Here is a link to a video to show you how.

3.  Young Living Essential Oils. I have been using Young Living Essential Oils for over a year now. I love how they can shift my mood, support my health and deepen my spiritual practices. I am leaning heavily on Thieves oil at this time. The history of this oil goes back to the plague when thieves used this combination of oils to protect them from illness. I’ve had some amazing experiences with Young Living Thieves oil myself including stopping a severe reaction to mold in its tracks. Follow the link if you’d like to learn more. And feel free to reach out with questions.

4. Ho’oponopono. My trusted Reiki teacher just reminded me today of this prayer and Hawaiin practice. It can be used for others, for ourselves, current circumstances and those from the past. Surely we can all use a little forgiveness at this time for ourselves and others.  I know I can. It goes like this: I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

Well, that’s all for now from coronavirus in the heartland. My life once again recently rearranged.  I’m in it with all of you… laying low, watching some movies and doing my best to stay centered and connected with powerful tools and practices.

Back in Texas

10 Oct

I’ve been in the Austin, Texas area for about a month now. I have to admit that my landing has been a little less than elegant. A series of car issues and just a feeling of “adjustment” have had me feeling not quite on my feet.

I lived in the Austin area for a few years in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Known as an “evacuee” at the time, it was a powerful and transformational period for me. Returning almost 15 years later is quite a trip. Austin has, shall we say, exploded! Honestly, it was a bit of a jolt to see the maze of new highways, strip malls, building and shopping developments in the town I lived in and called home for a bit. As I’ve been here a while longer I have had glimpses of the town that I loved and the place that for a little while felt like “home.”

One of my favorite places to return to has been Unity Church of the Hills. This church was a bit of a refuge for me when I lived here post-Katrina. It’s where I first heard Gary Renard speak (author of Disappearance of the Universe) which had a major impact on my spiritual thinking. It’s where I went to a sound healing session and got my first truly deep restful nights sleep in the wake of the upheaval of hurricane Katrina. Years later, with new ministers at the helm, the church is as dynamic and alive as ever. Their message is so gentle, powerful and loving. It is a great community to take a dip in while I am here.

Black Tourmaline

After a year of traveling and house and pet sitting in the US, while in many ways I am so grateful for the diversion and new scenery (and still want more of it!), I am also a bit exhausted from the constant change and travel. More recently here in Austin I have found myself in need of a bit of an “attitude adjustment.” Stumbling upon a few friendly reminders like “laughter yoga” and the importance of laughter for health and even a “chance encounter” with a powerful healing stone, black tourmaline, to lift off some of the negativity (in myself and the world at large) have made a difference.

Some of the people I turn to for wisdom and advice talk about this time in general as one of great change and spiritual shift. Perhaps even an inner revolution of sorts. Can you feel it? I know I feel that myself, my world and the world are being rocked in a deep way.

When “the going gets rough” I turn to my favorite trusted resources to help smooth out the ride.

Young Living Oils Lavender and Valor

  • Young Living Essential Oils  These oils are my constant companion, especially when things feel a bit rough. Valor and Lavender (among many others) are a few big hitters that bring some groundedness, soften some of the anxiety, and restore a bit of equilibrium to my mind, body and being. Would you like to learn more?
  • Healthy eating.  Wow, it really makes a difference. I have to be honest, when I am stressed or feeling a lot of emotional intensity I want to run for comfort food. But I do my best to make good choices in times of stress. Eating a healthy base makes such a big difference in my body, mind and mood. It’s critical. Recently I’ve been revisiting the site of Kris Carr (https://kriscarr.com/), cancer survivor and wellness guru. I’ve especially loved reading about her meal planning tips (https://kriscarr.com/blog/kris-carr-crazy-sexy-meal-plan/) and exploring some of her recipes!
  • Spiritual Nourishment. I have to say, I love God. And for me spiritual nourishment, connection comes in many forms. My daily reiki practice. My buddhist chanting practice of Nam-myoho renge kyo. Time in nature. Being inspired by the beautiful music of “Celebration” at Unity Church of the Hills. It’s all good. And for me, it’s all needed, helpful, useful and inspiring. What do you turn to for your spiritual nourishment?

When I feel like I am in the dark, I also appreciate pulling a few cards. Sometimes this means a tarot reading from my own deck or a professional reading. I also enjoy getting a quick burst of insight from Collette Barron Reid’s online card ap (https://www.colettebaronreid.com/). I am amazed at how often her cards deliver a morsel of wisdom that helps me refocus, regroup, realign in way that is meaningful and helpful.

Here’s wishing you a little peace, wisdom and laughter wherever you are in the world, whatever your journey!

The Adventure Continues

22 May

I am cuddled up in my quiet new digs in the latest stop on my house and pet sitting adventure. This new journey that launched me from Dallas, Texas has taken me to the coast of Wilmington, NC and the busy Virginia “suburbs” of DC. Next, I landed in the Boston, MA area where I happened upon a series of pet sitting opportunities which kept me in the beautiful but “a bit too chilly” Northeast for over month. I departed just recently and am now happily resting in Michigan for a few weeks caring for a fluffy friendly kitty and an enthusiastic assembly of hens.

In my travels and meeting people who travel, I was always curious about exploring house and pet sitting. When I landed in Asheville, NC for a few years, as I got a little restless, it was steadily on my mind. So when it was time to leave my temporary abode in Dallas it seemed only natural to throw my hat into the house and pet sitting ring. It started with securing one gig… then another and another.

So far, my traveling times as a pet and house sitter have been of the satisfying mellow variety. I’ve enjoyed the simple happiness of residing in “four new walls,” the steadfast company of some friendly furry creatures, and the leisurely exploration of my new scenery and surroundings. In a lot of ways, it’s been and continues to be an important time to regroup – lean on the spiritual practices I love including Reiki, get rest and nurture myself, and continue to tend to the fires, challenges and interests of my “inner world.” Along the way, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with a few welcome faces from the past.

It’s been fun from time to time to take a little outing, a trek to someplace new in my latest temporary hood.  Whether it’s connecting with a local Art of Living group for long Kriya, taking in a little jazz at the local piano summit, or diving into the beauty of nature… “getting out” and “getting away” in an easy, “no-stress” way is an important part of the journey.

As always, the rhythm of my life and journey is met with my own challenges with overwhelm, anxiety and fatigue. Being a steadfast caretaker of my health in ways that feel natural, supportive and healthy to me are a big part of my daily way. No matter where I go, I rely on the simple things like my joyful geekiness in seeking out the local natural and organic stores (there are about FIVE or SIX DIFFERENT ones in my latest location!!).

More recently, in the past year or so, I have added Young Living Essential Oils to my daily natural health dance. It is a true joy to be so gentle with myself using and experimenting with the oils to soften the constant nervous tensions often locked in my body. Recently I made an essential oil spray from Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Panaway and Copaiba Young Living essential oils combined with a natural fractionated coconut carrier oil. It makes such a difference to start and end the day with them. Since adding this practice I have days and moments when I am just so aware and appreciate the ease present in my body that simply wasn’t available or accessible to me before.

It’s a mostly rainy day today in my latest abode. There’s been a lot of rain lately. I am using it as an excuse to take it slow and am fortunate to be sitting in the midst of a beautiful glass sunroom as I peck away at my computer.

So long for now from the “it’s a little too chilly for Spring” land in the Northern US.

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