90 Days of Daily Meditation -check in -week 2

If you have not already joined our 90 day meditation adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here is how the last week went for me.

Experiences during the week: This week’s meditation has been a struggle for me. I am disappointed in my meditation performance. I allowed my business of life to get in the way of my daily practice and there were even several nights when I laid down at the end of the day just to realize I had not meditated. When I would attempt to do so, while laying there, I would drift off to sleep. Though I did have one very profound meditation during the week. It happened when I meditated first thing in the morning. During my meditation I received a couple of great inspirations. One, was to rename a class I’m offering with a catchier name, occurred to me during the time I quieted my brain.

What I have learned: I have learned I need to schedule a time to start my meditation or I will try to do it at the end of the day when I lay down before I fall asleep.

My weight: I am still on the road and have no mechanism to measure if my weight has changed. I do not sense a change in how my clothing is fitting me.

How I feel: I feel motivated to do better this next week. I feel a need to put myself first again. My travels this week brought me from the eastern time zone to the pacific. Which I will be reversing tomorrow and then back the following week. Because these switches can be a bit challenging I will need the meditation more than ever, to help keep myself calm and centered.

How it is affecting my life: On the days I meditated early in the day, I found the meditation profound and a blessing to start my day. On the days I did it at the end of the day while laying in bed, I found it induced good sleep. I was exceptionally tired this week due to a demanding schedule and travels that took me to or through 9 different states from Thursday to Monday. Even though I had high hopes for more profound meditation experiences, in reflecting, I see that the meditation experiences I had were the ones I needed.

Thank you for reading my blog today! I am proud of you for the things you are doing and/or wanting to do to take care of yourself. Even baby steps count! I wish you a lifetime of meditations that are exactly what you need. Blessings!

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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Join Us On This Adventure!

There has been a lot, in a news lately, about the stress hormone; cortisol. People are talking about how you can gain weight around your middle due to its effects. There are many companies out there peddling pills to help you reduce the weight gain from cortisol. But what if there was something more natural that could be done? What if there was a simple, beneficial thing that could decrease the cortisol as well as benefit your life in other ways and didn’t need to cost you anything but a little of your time. Well, there is such a thing! Meditation. 

I have decided to challenge myself to 90 days of daily meditation to see how it may or may not affect my weight. I love my body as is, but after my winter of hibernation and decreased mobility, I have noticed my clothes are a little tighter. I sat down this morning and the back tore out of my shorts. I’m sure this was related to the fabric being old and not my expanding size; I hope, anyway. I decided to weigh myself, something I seldom do. I hesitated whether or not to share my weight in this blog. In the end I decided it is just a number and not a reflection of my value as a person. So why not share it? I weighed myself midday, fully clothed and was surprised to see my weight has jumped up to 207.4lbs. Okay, I really do need to do something about my weight. It seems to have snuck up about 30lbs from where I used to maintain it. 

My plan is to meditate daily as a way to manage my stress an hopefully decrease cortisone and then see a decrease in my size so that my clothes fit better. I was sharing my idea with my Adventure Sister, Emy, who liked the idea of a healthy stress management process so much so she decided to join me also. 

What a great idea! What if we did this as a community? What if we all supported each other through this and shared our successes, what we learned, and our experiences? For the next 90 days Emy and I will commit to meditation daily. Once a week we will each write a blog to share how it is changing and enhancing our lives. We invite and encourage, all of you, to join us on this adventure. Give meditation a try; whether you are an experienced meditator or new to the practice. I have meditated a fair amount over my life but never been great about maintaining daily practice. I feel that by committing 90 days to ourselves, it gives us a good amount of time for it to become a routine to both our conscious and subconscious minds. We welcome your comments on our blogs and social media sites. Your experiences maybe just what someone else, someone who maybe struggling, needs to hear that others are too. Trust that guidance to share your journey with us on this adventure. 

I am currently experimenting with several meditation Apps. Stay tuned for a future blog that will share which apps I tried and what my thoughts were on these helpful guides. For a jumpstart; please see my earlier blog: 9 Ways to Improve Meditation.  Additionally, I will be writing a blog highlighting several different types of meditation techniques.  Hopefully these will help us all on our 90 days of daily meditation. Our journey to committing to a healthy way to manage our stress. 

So come on this adventure with us! Whether you are doing this for stress management, to release weight, or just to be a part of a community; we look forward to walking this journey with you. If you don’t feel now is the right time to start a daily meditation practice, that is okay. Do what feels right for you, in this time and space. The blogs will be here for you when you are ready. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your lifetime be full of healthy stress management and may your body easily release anything that does not serve your highest good; whether it be weight or outdated beliefs about yourself. 

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The Power of Forest Bathing

It was my husband who first introduced me to the term forest bathing. The terminology brings to mind a stainless steel horse trough sitting out in the woods full of warm sparkling water while a naked being sits happily with arms on the side of the tub and head tipped back enjoying the peaceful bath and surroundings. IMG_3704 2As lovely as that sounds, that is not what forest bathing is. Forest bathing is a term that started in Japan in the 1980. It is about being in the forests. Walking or resting amidst the trees. Allowing the healing power of nature to improve your health.

IMG_7948 I fully understand the power of nature to lighten your spirt, raise your vibration, and make the world seem a little bit brighter. Living in a northern climate, were winter lasts half the year, I miss the call of the dirt path through the trees. I miss walking between the trunks great and small, having the branches of the shrubs brush against my body as I journey on, feeling the filtered sunlight on my face. In the spring the forest smells like dirt and the occasional blossom. In the summer I think it smells like life itself. Everything is boldly green and in its fullest, happiest stage of life. In the fall, the smell becomes that of ripe fruit and the leaves decomposing and returning to the earth. Winter has a crisp clean smell in the forest. The frozen crystalline world has the smell of a fresh start. The sounds change with the seasons also, bird songs and animals scurrying in the brush, give way to the crunch of leaves underfoot and the cracking of ice on branches. Whatever the season that you decide to visit the forest many magical gifts await you there.

IMG_8436.jpgThere is power there, for you amongst the mighty giants and new saplings. The life force energy that runs through the trees can renew you. It can renew you. It can help you improve your health, fight off illness, and sleep better at night. IMG_9762

We had an especially long and cold winter this year, with piles of snow that seem they will never go away. My husband and I journeyed to Washington State. This gave us a break from the winter weather and allowed us to get out and do some spring forest bathing. We hiked among the mighty trunks of giant Pacific Northwest trees. They seemed to reach up to the heavens. I could breath again. Suddenly all the stress of life and the rushing here and there just melted away. All that mattered was the forest full of new and fresh growth and our companionship as we journeyed through the forest. It felt like a fresh start. It was a healing journey.

DSC_0633.jpgThere is power and magic in the forest and if you take time to listen, the trees will speak to you. They will share their ancient wisdom. They will teach you how to heal yourself and to care for your neighbor. I strongly encourage you to get out there and take a forest bath.

 

Thank you for Reading my blog today! I wish you a lifetime of happy, peaceful time in Nature. I love you.

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4 Unique Stays

My husband and I recently traveled to Seattle. Instead of the usual hotel stay we decided to try Airbnb. For anyone who hasn’t heard of this, it is when people like you and me rent out our homes, campers, boats, yurts or other interesting spaces. It’s like the Uber of hotel rooms. As we looked over our options for a place to stay, we ran across many unique and wonderfully quirky spaces. An idea was born. Not only would our trip to Seattle be an adventure but also where we lay our heads down at night. 

So I set off perusing the Airbnb app, looking for the anything but ordinary places to stay. We decided to move around where we stayed, not only to make it convenient to the days activities, but also try as many cool spaces as we possible could! 

We had four very different experiences while we explored the Seattle, Washington area. 

The Beacon Hill Airstream:

Our first two nights were in this beautifully refurbished Airstream camper. 30715905_10216350833787397_3367843483548123136_nThe Airstream was located in a backyard that was masterfully landscaped. IMG_7360A hot tub made it seem like a very extravagant stay.IMG_7446 The beautiful deck that surrounded the Airstream would be a lovely place to hang out on a sunny, lazy afternoon, (our two days there were quite drizzly). The very thoughtful host also welcomes you to eat any ripe items in the garden. IMG_7367Included was a guest book on the kitchen table that showed the remarkable transformation of the Airstream from start to end.IMG_7362 The kitchen was well equipped and made this much more than a mere camping experience. String lights gave a festive feel to the yard and deck that surrounded the Airstream. 

The Private Redmond Cottage in the Woods:

IMG_7602This cute little A-frame cabin was located at the edge of the tall woods on a beautifully maintained price of property. The main floor made a comfortable living space with a efficient makeshift kitchen (provided breakfast) and relaxing couch. Games and books were provided, to make for a relaxing rustic vacation. I wrote a blog sitting at the kitchen table with a beautiful view of the forest behind. IMG_7626I thought what a great writers getaway this would be.IMG_7609 The bed was located up a ladder into the loft with tIMG_7616he forest right outside your window, at the head of the bed. We slept soundly and well with the cool breeze coming through the open window and the sound of rain on the forest floor. At this cute little hide away the bathroom was outside in the old garage. The bathroom was modern with a heated floor, so running over to the garage to use it, was not a hardship. The garage was my Marty’s favorite part of the stay. He loved all the old antiques they had stacked everywhere inside. I loved that they had fresh flowers.
IMG_7606 There were hiking trails in the woods, that we did not get to take advantage of due to time, that I would love to go back and explore sometime in the future. IMG_7608

The Devils Mountain Yurt: 

I had never stayed in a yurt before so I was very excited about this stay. IMG_8044I must say this Yurt was so beautifully decorated it easy tops the list of most romantic stays! IMG_8027Battery operated candles circled the inside of the space and to make beauty convenient, they were operated by remote control (just aim at to turn on or off).IMG_8034 On this stop we were treated with homemade banana bread and a basket of goodies. There were two chairs to relax in. Lovely touches everywhere made it very comfortable. A throw blanket, shawl, and a bathrobe were provided to enhance our comfort. There was an outhouse style bathroom updated with a hot water running shower and a composting toilet. String lights lite the way the few steps from the yurt to the bathroom. There was a skylight in the top of the yurt and on a clear night I imagine the stars and moon would be visible through it. The weather was cool, during our time there, but a heater in the yurt kept us warm and comfortable. IMG_8028There was a small fridge and a camp stove to provide a functioning place to prepare meals. A large basket was proved to put dirty dishes in. This was then left at the side of the main house so that you didn’t even have to wash your own dishes! IMG_8040
There was also a lovely outdoor space with chairs and a hammock for lounging away the afternoon. Not to mention a small babbling brook close by. IMG_8037Unfortunately, it rained on our stay, so we could not take full advantage of the resting space, nor could we enjoy a warm fire in the fire pit provided by our hosts. This was such a dreamy stay. 

The Seattle Adventurer’s Bungalow:

This space was so beautifully decorated and well thought out. It was such a fun space for our final night on the trip even though the bungalow contained only a bathroom and  sleeping room. There was a refrigerator, hot pot, and coffeemaker in the space and a trip across the backyard would lead you to the kitchen, in the main house, for any cooking needs you may have. IMG_8070There was a large door on the side of the bungalow that could be slid open to open into the outdoor living space. Reclaimed wood was used on the accent walls and stained various shades to create a beautiful look. 30703994_10216372155040415_5089529043099844608_nOld license plates covered the door to the bathroom and gave a fun explorer feel. 30741170_10216372142200094_3194382003709411328_nThe light fixtures were unique with combined pulleys and Edison bulbs to give the room a warm and cozy feel. 30739467_10216372129879786_4623854807533223936_nThe outdoor living space consisted of a covered patio which became an open air living room with an overhead heater and and string lights. I could picture myself cuddled up on the sofa, sitting there, reading a book. 30729395_10216372155280421_3908979246533443584_nThere were extra blankets and a fan provided to make for a very comfortable stay. We opened the window and let the spring air refresh us while we slept. It was such a beautifully thought out space with cute touches we really enjoyed our last night of our trip there. 

All of the neighborhoods the Airbnb were in, felt safe. All of our hosts were thoughtful, kind and welcoming. We will totally travel with Airbnb in the future. I know now that there are other funky fun finds out there that will feed our free spirited travel style. My hippy, gypsy soul loved this trip. 

Thank you for reading my blog. Journey on my friends. I wish you a lifetime of fun and adventure. 

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God Dimes?

Have you heard of the idea of God Dimes?  I had a friend tell me that angels leave you pennies but God leaves you dimes. So when you are going about your day and you look down and see a dime, it is a sign you are on your right path. You are not alone. It is going to be okay.

Whether you believe in God as a grey haired old man, Creator, Hindu Supreme God,  the energy of the Collective Consciousness, Mother Nature, Allah, your Higher Self, or some other incarnation of God – it does not matter. Dimes are a positive sign of being on your correct path.

Yesterday was a hectic day for me. My first flight had an hour delay for a maintenance issue. My connecting flight was cancelled all together. I had the choice to wait 12 hours for the connecting flight I was rebooked on or rent a car and drive the last 3 hours of the trip to my destination. I chose to rent the car and drive so I didn’t totally loose a whole day of work. I was feeling anxious about the lost time, that I had planned to be able to give to the site, I was visiting. Not to mention, things I wanted to accomplish on a personal level that I am working on. I made the changes, booked a car and canceled the flight. When I got into the car there was a dime in the cup holder. What a nice little reminder that everything is working out just as it should be. As I got my phone synced up with the car, I remembered that a friend had recommended an audiobook to me the day before. I downloaded it to my phone to listen as I made the 3 hour drive. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

While I was working in my hotel room last night, my mind flashed to the three book proposals that Emy and I just submitted to Hay House. We are anxiously awaiting to hear that they have been accepted for publication. We feel that the journey of becoming published authors has been Divinely guided. Both of our grandmothers were huge influences in our lives. They both passed away over the last couple of years and we have felt the push of our ancestors to continue working tirelessly toward this goal. We stay intentional about keeping our thoughts positive in order to be accepted as the next Hay House authors. We know that our books have messages that will help many people. As the books came into my mind last night, I looked at the corner of the bed and there lay 2 dimes. A sense of peace came over me.

Sometimes a little sign is just what we need to know it will all be okay. Seeing a little silver dime laying on the street can be a sweet reminder that we are not alone. That we are on our right path.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your day be full of signs that you are heading in an ever positive direction. I love you!

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Don’t Give Up!

Yesterday my husband and I hiked a very difficult trail. It was rated as moderate to difficult. It has been a cold and snowy winter in Minnesota and we have been hibernating . We have not done our usual 10,000 steps a day, but instead been watching TV (which is a rare thing for us to do). Our fitness level is not what it has been over the last couple of years. We have a never say die attitude though and believe that there is nothing that we can’t do. So we took this and applied it to Rattlesnake Ledge Trail. 

Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is a 4 mile round trip trek up a mountain. You climb up 1,175 feet of elevation to a view point that overlooks the Rattlesnake Lake. There are many switch backs that make the climb not as steep as it once was. This is not to say that it is an easy climb any means. There were spots along the trail that were so steep it was almost more like climbing a ladder than walking on a trail.  

It’s a popular hiking trail though, where we were passed by many happy and fit people. There were people of all shapes, sizes, and ages. One young man who was hiking it in dress shoes made it look easy. He passed us four different times. When we told him he made it look easy ,he said it was because he was taking it slow. This struck me as funny since he kept passing us. We saw a mother carrying a baby, a lady carrying her puppy, as well as elderly folks making the climb. 

We were probably about an hour and a quarter into our hike when it became very steep. This was the part of the path that earned it the “difficult” rating. This truly showed me that I have not been treating my body the way it deserves and I need to be better. When we hit the steepest parts, I would climb about three yards along the path and be so winded, I had to stop. I wanted to turn around and go back. Inside, my mind, I was screaming for me to stop. That inner justifier was saying you can go back and have more time to enjoy your Airbnb. You do not need to keep going. No one will judge you. But I had told myself I will do this, that I can do this, and I would be disappointed with myself if I didn’t do this. So I ignored that inner voice that just wanted to stop and forged on. 

IMG_7591The climb, though hard, was full of beautiful scenery. Trees so tall they take your breath away. Cute little wild flowers that added a splash of color. We tracked on about another 15 minutes when my husband verbalized what I had been thinking. “I feel like I just want to stop and turn around” he said. Well nothing brings out my inner cheerleader like hearing someone else want to quit. I suddenly was very positive about our success. I kept telling him how “Creps don’t give up”.  We could and would do this. We would be so disappointed in ourselves if we didn’t. We continued to plod along up the mountain, to a promise of a breathtaking view. 

The inner cheerleader in me lost strength after a bit and I began to question my sanity. I asked Marty repeated if he wanted too stop and turn around. I worried about how sore our bodies would be the next day. Marty was now motivated and his never let go attitude was in full out determination mode. On we went. 

As some other hikers were descending, we asked how much farther. The lady told us we were very close. The man said what we thought was 40 minutes. Could I really keep going another 40 minutes. Yes, we were going to do this. No matter what. On we went. Suddenly we round the corner on a switchback and could see light coming through the trees. I am pretty sure I heard trumpets blowing and confetti was falling.  As we climb the final few steps to the rocky ledge top, one of the hikers, who had passed us earlier, said (with some surprise in his voice), “Hey, you made it”. We felt exactly the same way and told him so. We had made it! Our lungs burned, our legs were wobbly with fatigue, and sore muscle would welcome us the next day but we had made it. Despite all the screaming in our heads to quit! Despite the fact that it took us twice as long to climb it as we expected (2 hours vs the 1 hour promised on the sign), we had made it. 

I climbed out on the edge of the ledge and sat down even closer to the giant drop off. I have always been afraid of heights but on this day I was Queen of this mountain! Looking over the sheer drop off did not bother me (much).  I sat there, amongst the clouds,  overlooking the valley. I could see the parking lot, next to the lake, below were we had started from. Wow, we did this!

When things seem to be taking longer than you would like, when your inner voice is yelling at you to give up, just keep going. Sometimes you cannot see the light through the trees that promise success, but it is close at hand. You might just round the next corner and see the light. Suddenly, without warning, you will be at your destination and  have achieved your desired outcome. 

Voyage on my friends. Thank you for reading my blog today. May all of your journeys end with success and pride! I love you! You can do this! 

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Do You Believe in Trolls?

Albert Einstein said,”Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Imagination is a wonderful thing. My husband and I are in Seattle, traveling and exploring the Pacific Northwest. This is one of my favorite parts of the country. Today we went to Fremont and saw the troll under the bridge. It reminds me of my childhood.

 IMG_6874When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me the story of 3 Billy Goats Gruff. I was always so nervous for the Billy Goats. Afraid that the troll would come out from under the bridge and eat them up. I was so relieved when they would outsmart him and get safely across the bridge. It was a great story to let you know, as a small child, that you could overcome things that seemed bigger and stronger than you with cunning and creative thinking. 

I find that traveling is a great way to embrace your creativity as well. You can imagine what it must be like to live in the area. Think about what it was like long years ago when only the indigenous people were here. I find myself wondering if perhaps Bigfoot really does lurk in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest amongst the Hemlock, Douglas Firs, and Aspen trees. 

We decided that this trip really should be an adventure, so we booked several quirky places to stay that include an Airstream, yurt, and an little cabin in the woods. This is further sparking our imagination and allowing us to dream. What great originality our hosts had to offer such unique experiences. 

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. ~ Neil Gaiman

Imagination is not just for children. It is for all of us. It is fun, it gives life a spark that it just doesn’t have, if you don’t allow yourself to dream. Dream big, dream often, and dream in a way that might just change the future, even if it seems to be in a small way. Think about the artists that created the troll under the bridge in Seattle. This creative project has attracted people to the neighborhood to see the troll. Children look in awe and then with a gleam in their eye, run and climb all over him, while parents snap pictures with delight. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. Dream my friends. Dream in big ways and in small ways. Allow your imagination to sore. Blessings. 

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