A Story of Remembering

I want to tell you a story. This might be a story of old or it might be the story of now. It is likely a story that has occurred countless times throughout history. It is a story of trust and a story of renewal, but most of all, it a story of remembering.

There was a young woman. She was a mother or she wasn’t. She had responsibilities as we all do. One day, as she was walking through the forest of life, she saw a path. This path was not into the light but rather was a path into the darkness. This path went deep into the forest and it looked very dangerous. It was jagged and had many curves. It would have been impossible to learn were the path would take her by simply looking. The darkness of this path called to her. It called to her and it pulled at her, although she knew pain and betrayal waited for her along this path, she felt oddly intrigued by it.

Now I have to tell you, this young woman had always been responsible. She had always done what had been asked of her, what was expected of her, and even more. Everyone in her tribe felt she was the perfect young woman. Every mother wanted to call her daughter. The older men all wanted to call her daughter and the younger men chased her to be their bride. She cared for the young and learned from the elderly. She was the definition of smart and responsible.

Despite her history, as such a stand up member of the community, the young woman felt she must walk this path. She had to voyage into the darkness, even though it meant walking away from her responsibilities. She had to risk being hurt and had to hurt those who had placed so much trust and pride in her. She stepped onto the path, dropping the baskets that she had brought into the forest, leaving them where they lay.

The path was arduous. She stumbled and fell many times. She met scary creatures who pretended to be her friends or help her, but in the end, they we leading her farther into the darkness. They hurt her, physically, emotionally, and separated her from the light. Sometimes she tried to find her way back but they kept pulling her deeper into the darkness. They kept pulling her further from who she had been. They caused her to feel like a completely different person. It did not take long before she forgot who she was. She forgot she was from the light and she believed she was a creature of the darkness.

This went on for many years. The village mourned her. They felt that she was lost to them forever. They feared she would never find her way back to the light. But one day, she stumbled into the village. She was wild and untamed. She was a mere shadow of the bright young woman who she had once been. The darkness hung all around her and her “friends” from there, watched from the shadows. They called to her and pulled at her.

There was something about the village that felt like home to her, although she could not really recall. The community did not trust her, they avoided her. They would not let her care for the young or spend time with the elderly. They did not want to claim her as they once did. When they tried to give her responsibilities she would wander off or never fulfill them. Even though she was back, they felt she was still lost. They still did not recognize her as the brave and ambitious woman she had once been.

One day the village wise woman (the witch) was working quietly on something. She had been watching all of this. She saw how the darkness pulled at the woman, but she also saw how the woman tried to resist the darkness. She knew something deep within the young woman wanted to live fully in the light again, but there was so much baggage from the darkness, she couldn’t seem to step away from it. It had become a part of her identity.

The witch touched her finger to the young woman’s brow. The place in front of where the third eye resides. “Remember” said the wise old woman, “remember who you are”. The young woman blinked at her elder. The darkness seemed to fall away. Her “friends” let go of their holds on her and slunk back onto the treacherous path. Light beamed all around the young woman and she suddenly did remember who she was.

From that day on she worked to gain the trust of her community. She became who she had been only better. She was wiser now. Having known the darkness and living among the darkness helped her better see how she belonged in the light. It helped her embrace and enjoy her responsibilities. She become one others looked to for wisdom, for she had lived what they could never imagine and returned to the light.

Time would pass and worlds would change. The young woman would become the witch in the future. The wise woman would become the young woman again. This story would continue to unfold throughout history over and over again. Is this your story? It is my story. It is many peoples’ story. Forgive yourself for the time in the darkness. It was a part of your journey. It is done or nearly done now. You are wiser for it. Remember who you are! Remember that you are of the light!

Thank you for ready no my blog today! May you remember your true nature, as if by magic!

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Drumming With the Wolves; My Experience

On Saturday, July 21st I received the exciting opportunity to be part of an event called, Drumming with the Wolves. It was held at the Wildlife Science Center. To follow is the intentions behind the event, what I experienced there, and how it changed me.

The event was the brain child of one of my friends, Vonne. I feel grateful and blessed that she invited me to be a co-organizer for this important event. It was set with the idea of raising money to help support this important center and all of the great research they are gathering, knowledge they are sharing, and endangered animals they are fighting to keep from extinction.

The event started around 6 pm. The evening was sunny and warm and about 30-40 people joined us to have the opportunity to see these great creatures up close, learn about them, and be part of a drum circle. There was a strong feeling of community as old friends reunited and new friends met for the first time. I met some amazing people, who I hope to see again and again at future events. Peggy, the Founder, Biologist, and Wolf Mother took us on a tour of her amazing facility. We started off by meeting the Wolves. As we walked along their enclosures the Wolves ran up to the fence to meet us. I remember when my eyes met the golden eyes of the first majestic animal.  I fell in love. You could see the wildness in his being but also the love. These Wolves are, after all, spiritual beings too.  Peggy graciously educated us, answered questions, and howled so that the Wolves would howl back. I cannot describe the way it took my breath away to hear 100+ Wolves howling in chores together.  I have heard Wolves howl when Emy and I were camping in the Boundary Waters but to have them all around us howling, was a completely different experience. We met many Wolves on this tour, all with their own interesting and unique stories to tell.

After we met the Wolves we got to meet some of the other wild creatures that have come to live there, because they cannot be released back to the wild. Mountain Lions, Lynx, and Bobcats all call the Wildlife Science Center home. Additionally, there are Bears, Raccoons, an elderly Porcupine, Fox, and Skunk. Each creature has its own story of how it came to call the heartfelt place home. There are also Raptors, who we did not get to meet, perhaps during the next public event called The Harvest Howl in October.

After we finished our tours we shared in a potluck. Prayer Ties were made with Tobacco grown from a 100 year old seed shared by an attending indigenous woman. Intentions and prayers were placed in the Ties to be fed to the fire. It was very beautiful and powerful. That this tradition was shared with us and the tobacco song sung in the native tongue made me feel honored and blessed to be a part of this.

I led a healing meditation. I was awed and a bit amused as the wolves added their howls from time to time to the meditation. It was as though they wanted to participate.

Now it was time for the drumming. Lisa called in the directions and led the drumming. The drums beat matched with the heartbeat of the Earth. Each drumming session had a powerful intention set with it. Children and adults all participated. There were Drums, Dowels, Tibetan Tingsha Cymbals, Singing Bowls, Rattles, and even a white Crystal Bowl. A Didgeridoo was played earlier in the night offering sound baths to some participants. It was a blend of cultures and such an amazing sense of community. There was no judgment, only love, community, and respect. The Drumming was an important and inspiring part of the evening. As our Drums beat together, joining us with each other and the natural world around us, our prayers were carried off with the Drum beats and vibrations. It connected us together with one another and with all of nature.

The Wolves; who are a fierce hunter, strong predator, and create fear in so many – displayed only love and curiosity during our visit. They are well cared for and respected. They are not pets but rather wild animals who need our help and understanding to survive. At the end of the night we howled, Peggy howled, and the Wolves howled. It was a final goodbye and great end to the night.

It was an experience that was transformative in many ways. I was looking forward to the Drumming but the night was so much more than just that. The opportunities to join these kind of events is a blessing. They enhance your life and teach you things about others, but more than anything else, they help you to know yourself even better. What moves you, inspires you, touches your heart? This event and the people and creatures I met here did all these things for me and more.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find events that foster in you a deeper connection with yourself and those around you, as if by magic. I love you!

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Go Beyond Your Fears

Alligators, snakes, and turtles, oh my! I love to kayak! This is a love I share with my Adventure Sister, Emy, as well as with my husband. It is an activity that is infectious and when I share it with others, I soon hear they are shopping for a kayak themselves. It is a lovely way to experience nature by gliding smoothly through the water. I feel as one with the kayak and close to the nature all around me when out paddling. Now that I am spending more time in Florida, I want to be able to practice this peaceful activity all year round. After all, kayaking season in Minnesota is a bit short. 

One day, as my husband and I were traveling the backroads in Florida, I was looking longingly at all the little streams and rivers that were just waiting for us to kayak through them. I looked at the grassy banks and thought, I wonder if the Alligators bother the kayakers. Hmmm, I had not considered that this prehistoric looking critter might pose a treat. I calmly did , what I do when I have a question like that, I pulled out my trusty phone and researched it. It turns out that if you don’t bother them while kayaking, they wont bother you. What a relief! 

So what else might pose a threat? Well, another possible problem with kayaking in Florida is the snakes. There are 4 poisons snakes here and unlike Minnesota snakes, they don’t stay on the ground. They get up into the trees. I have heard stories of them dropping out of the trees into boats. Ick! Although I am sure they fall out of the trees at times, perhaps due to a strong wind, I am guessing they do not intend to fall into boats. It really seems like it would be a bad plan on their part. I wonder if these stories are more for the “thill” factor of watching the listener’s eyes widen than anything. 

So my husband and I purchased a second hand tandem kayak. We tested it by paddling down a stream with overhanging trees. It was a lovely paddle. Everything was so green and there were beautiful purple flowers along the shoreline. We did see some reptiles on our paddle in this lovely place but it was just was a big turtle and a baby turtle, sunning on log. 

So often in life we hear stories or thoughts occur to us of all the: “what if’s”.  What if the snakes would have been raining from the trees? What if they gators were hungry and aggressive? I read in a book once, many years ago, “Why walk, we might fall?”. We can stop ourselves from doing anything if we let our fears become larger than our dreams. If you truly want to live the life of your dreams, you must boldly push beyond your fears. I am not saying be careless, but do some research. Check the facts. Have a plan to counteract the “what if’s”. And then go fo it! After all, the only reptile on your battle may be turtles! 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. I wish you the life of your dreams, today and everyday. 

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I Am Proud of You!

I am Proud of you! Do you hear me? Yes, I’m talking to you! I am proud of all you have accomplished. Just think where you were at a few years ago. Now look at you! Look how far you have come. It may seem like baby steps to you, but every one of those steps forward is a step in the right direction. Even f you take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, that is still one step forward. It doesn’t matter if those steps have taken place in the last week or the last 20 years. The speed of your forward progress is up to you. It is not a race to the end. 

  • Think about the things you once struggled with but now you can cope with well. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about how you have matured in your response to those you do not agree with. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about all the magic things you have manifested in your life, even if they were small. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about how you have matured in your opinions. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the new ways you have found to take care of yourself, so that you will have the stamina to better help others. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have stood up for the underdog. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have brought improved order and peace into your life. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the meditation and/or exercise practices you have started and started again and maybe will start again. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have helped your community. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the smiles you have shared with strangers to brighten their days. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have shown your body, you love it, as is. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the times you have said what you meant with love. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the times you have excelled with determination. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the things you have done, that you once said you would or could never do. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the new adventures you have gone on and will go on next. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have heard Spirit talk to you and the ways in which you have answered. I am proud of you. 
  • Think of the all the times you have pushed on, even though you have felt very stressed or overwhelmed to do so at times. I am proud of you. 
  • Think of the ways you have supported your friends and family. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the healthy boundaries you have set, even if you have to reset them from time to time. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about how you have inspired someone else. Even if in a small way. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the things you have learned about yourself. I am proud of you. 
  • Think of the ways you have shown, expressed, and felt gratitude. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have given and received love. I am proud of you.

You are doing great! Yes you are. There are always ways to continue to grow and  improve yourself. Just by you are reading this, you are making forward progress. You are walking your path to being your best version of you. Look back over the decisions you have made. See how you have progressed over the years, months, weeks, days. There is progress there to celebrate. You are moving toward living the life of your dreams and I am so very proud of you. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of success and many things to be proud of yourself for. I love you and I am proud of you! Blessings! 

Sisterhood

l love my male friends, but there is something special about female friends. This week my life has been full of the beauty of sisterhood. There is an extraordinary quality to the relationships of woman. An ease of understanding; an ancestral community of healers, caretakers, and nurturers. Some woman have forgotten this bond. Some women look for enemies in other woman. I encourage you, if you are one such woman, to look for the good in your sisters. I hope you can seek to understand why their journey has made them who they are and find respect for them, even if you do not agree with them. 

I look around me and see my life is full of smart and capable female friends and family. This week I have supported one amazing woman who has turned her life around and continues to do so in miraculous ways.  Another friend needed encouragement to continue to walk a difficult journey. I watch a dynamic millennial blow the competition out of the water at a speech contest. A friend called and gave me encouragement to continue on a new creative project I am working on. I see other woman making their dreams come true and I am inspired. 

We must, as woman, band together and support each other. Celebrate the successes and cry over the losses. Together we are stronger than we are as individuals. Together we can make the world a better place. Together we will nurture the children to become fine adults, we will plan for a better tomorrow, we will mend the broken and heal the sick. We will encourage the forlorn and help the lost find their way. 

Let’s look at being a woman as a super power. Let’s see our strength. Let’s gather our emotions around us and see how they do not make us weaker but make us stronger. Let us not step on the backs of other women to get to the top but rather take turns pulling each other up to the top. 

I love you my sisters! I am here rooting you on. Your success is success for us all. My success is your success. We are a community of powerful women. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a feeling of sisterhood, community, and love! 

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Self Care: a series – part 3

In part 1: we talked about healthy boundaries. Part 2: encouraged you to take time for yourself. Now let’s discuss self talk. Self talk is simply the things you tell yourself. Some of the things we say to ourselves are worse than anything you would ever tell another human. Even people we really don’t like, we would seldom talk to the way we talk to ourselves, at times. We give ourselves messages about our ambitions, our intelligence, and the way we look. Why are we so hard on ourselves and how can we change it for the better?

When you look in the mirror what do you say to yourself? I know I used to look and see a fat, very plain looking woman. I would tell that woman how discussing she was. I would be angry with her for how much weight she carried and let her know I thought she was a fat pig. These are things I would have never said to another human being. Thanks to Louis L Hay and other teachers like her, I began to recognize that this was not a way to treat or talk to myself. Louis was a big advocate for “mirror work”; looking in the mirror and telling yourself. you love yourself. “I love you Stacy”. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it is a great first step to start shifting how you talk to yourself.

The next thing you need to start doing is noticing the negative self talk. Once you began to notice how you talk to yourself, you can start to shift it from negative to positive. Notice what you say, think about it, would you ever say this to someone else? Does it pass through the four gates of communication? “Is it kind?” “Is it truthful?” “Is it non- harmful?” “Is now the right time?” I am not sure who to credit with the four gates of communication but we need to apply them to self talk, as well as talking to others. When you say something to yourself like, “you are a lazy”, think about; is it kind? Nope. Is it truthful? If you examine it you will likely find that it is not. You may be depressed, busy, choosing other things to do with your time at that moment, but not really lazy. Is this statement harm free? Can’t pass through this gate either. Negative self talk hurts our self esteem and self worth. There is a lot of harm caused by saying mean things to ourself. As for the final gate, “is it the right time?” , there is never a right time to be mean to ourselves.

As you examine the things you say to yourself, if it can’t pass through even one of these gates, it is time to send yourself a positive message.

It is time to start shifting what we say to ourselves. Start to praise yourself for the things you are doing. Start to notice things to love about yourself. Tell yourself you are proud of you for how hard you’ve worked on a project. Start to notice your attributes, you are a great artist or provide loving care for someone. Begin to tell yourself loving things about how you look. You have great legs. Your nose is really cute. People are drawn to your smile. Every time you notice yourself saying something negative to you, replace it with 2 positive messages. Make a list of all of your skills, positive attributes, and loving kindnesses you share. By making that list you will accomplish two things. Firsts you will see all of the really great things about yourself. If you get stuck, ask friends and family. They will easily and quickly share nice things about you with you. The second thing is that once you have noticed these things and written them down, they will be available for you to pull on to quickly replace the negative self talk. The list will grow and you will replace the way you talk to yourself with loving kindness.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I wish you a life full of loving kindness, from yourself and others.

 

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Do You See Me?

I am listening to an interesting audiobook. Because Emy and I are in the process of getting our own books published, we have been reading other peoples’ teaching memoirs, as a way to compare and contrast to our own. Right now I am listening to The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. Amanda was, for about 5 years, a street performer. You know, one of those statues you see in touristy sections of large towns,when you throw some money in their hat they start to move and do something (hopefully) entertaining. She talks about our desire (as humans)for connection. She talks about our desire to be seen. These are things we all want, even if each in our own way.
How do you seek out human connection? Is it through close relationships with friends and family? Is is through a blog? Emy and I fostered a deep human connection with one another through our trips to the BWCA. Now we hope to expand that connection by publishing the books we have written about those experiences. My marriage is another form of connection. We witness each others lives. We are there for the tears, laughter, missteps, and all the in-betweens. Most of us have connections with friends and family but it seems that is not enough. We have a drive and a desire to continue to find connections with others. It seems to me we all want to connect, even in the smallest ways with strangers.
Is the drive to find connection with others, a deep seated survival instinct? If we notice that we are the same maybe we won’t want to harm the other? If we notice that we are the same, maybe if we need help, the other will come help us? Another possibility is that of soul connections. Maybe on an energetic level we recognize each other from another time and space. Namaste means the Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you. Perhaps that is the connection we are all looking for. Namaste! What ever the reason, we have small brief connections with others all the time. On the rental car shuttle someone will sneeze and invariably someone else, often all the way across the bus, will say, “bless you”. When I am settled into my seat on the airplane and someone sits in the center seat next to me, they feel compelled to say hello or apologize while they are getting settled into their space for the flight. Holding doors and elevators are other ways we have minuscule relationships with our fellow humans. These are all brief forms of connection with strangers. When that stranger smiles at us, looks us in the eye, and says; “Thank you”. We feel fulfilled in that moment.
I can not tell you why we feel this drive to connect with others. I only know, I witness it in small ways, every day. In small insignificant interactions, human connection between strangers takes place like a spiderweb. The way the morning dew glistens on the soft fibers of the sider’s web, the spark of recognition, glistens in the eyes of our human brothers and sisters during these momentary threads of connection.
Namaste my friends! I do see you. I do see the Divine within you. Thank you for reading my blog today. Thank you for connecting with me in this brief moment in time.
What are your thoughts? How do you look for connection with others? What little interactions with strangers makes you feel the best?

 

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When the Last Interaction Is Not Positive

One of my friends died today. Our last conversation keeps repeating in my head. It was not a happy conversation. Would I have delivered the same message if I knew his days were numbered? Would I have done it in the same way?
I do not believe that I am an unkind person. I am, however, direct and even blunt. I will deliver the messages that others shy away from. This was the way this conversation went. I was trying to help my friend understand how others perceived him. I feel none of us truly knows how we are being perceived unless someone is brave enough to tell us. This was my intention in my last interaction with this friend. I wanted to give the gift of honesty. I wanted to help him grow and be a better version of himself. It did not go well. I had thought he had received my words with openness and was taking some time to process. When I learned of his death, I also learned that he had un-friended me on Facebook. Apparently I had hurt him. This was never my intention. Many people have un-friended and re-friended me over the years. I don’t let it bother me, most of the time. I do, however, feel bad that this interaction had caused enough pain that he no longer wanted me to show up in his news feed.
Sure, they say, “truth hurts”. That doesn’t help me feel any better about it. I wanted to help him become a better version of himself. Instead, I now have the opportunity to become a better version of myself. If I had known his days were numbered would I still have delivered the message in the same way? Would I have felt the message was important to share? What is the cost of personal growth? Both his and mine. Did it really matter? I am left to wrestle with these questions as I come to terms that my friend has transitioned into another way of being. What would he tell me now that he has access to the wisdom on the other side?

Regret is… an unavoidable result of any loss,
for in loss we lose the tomorrow that we needed
to make right our yesterday or today
~ Gerald Lawson Sitter

How would I feel if someone was brave enough to share with me how I was being perceived? People have from time to time, and I welcomed the information. Sometime it throws you off for a minute as you have to integrate the message that they shared. What have I learned? To be as kind as possible always. Yes. To not share the truth? No. I will still share insights with others. I still want others to share insights with me.
To my friend – “Peace, Love, and a smooth transition to the other side. Please forgive me for causing you pain. It was not my intention to hurt you. Thank you for being my friend in this lifetime. Safe journeys”.

What are your thoughts? Was I wrong? Have you had similar experiences?

Than you for reading my blog today. May your friendships be open and help you grow.

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Allowing Dreams to Come True

Too often in life we talk about what we want, but we are afraid to believe that we could really have it or are even worthy of it. We want to believe but we may feel we are just making a wish list of things/experience we want. In our heart of hearts we do not believe it will really happen or that it could even possibly really happen. Over the years I have made vision boards, done gratitude journals, employed techniques to keep my vibration high, and written manifestation lists for; New Years, New Moons, and other various events. I have used mantras such as “Money comes frequently and easily” and “I have endless energy and plenty of time”. In the beginning, it never seems true or possible.

I recently commented to my husband that I would really like to start participating in 5Ks again. I used to live in Florida and participated in many such events. When I moved to Minnesota, I had plans to continue, but I never really got into the groove of it there. Part of my problem was after years of running in Florida, where the running season starts in the fall, in Minnesota it was growing cooler or even cold and the running season was ending. This conflicted with my usual excitement/energy to start the season. Maybe this was just a cop out for not doing it. Whatever the reason, I have never done more than a few events since moving to Minnesota.

I think that manifesting at times is a bit like scales. On one side is the manifestation list. On the other side you have what you see as reality. As you start to see things on the manifestation side of the scale come into being, that side of the scale starts to drop and gets heavier and heavier. This is where the magic happens. All of a sudden you start to think, “Wow, this stuff really works!” Which brings more into being. Lets go back to the 5K story. When I told my husband I wished I could do more 5Ks, and told him my excuses/reasons why I just can’t seem to do it in Minnesota, he calmly said why don’t you go to Florida and do them with your friends. My job allows me the ability to travel and do this if I want, so this wasn’t really outside the realm of possibility for me.

The magic started to happen when my friend, Donna, called and asked if I would come to Florida in February to do a 5K with her. Wow, crazy right! Then an amazing opportunity showed up for Marty and I to buy a boat as a vacation home in Florida. This would mean we would be in the state more often, making the reality of participating in weekend 5K events more likely!
We completed a 5K yesterday, Marty’s first. It was as fun and exhilarating as I remember. At supper with friends last night we started making plans for future 5Ks.

Don’t give up on the dreams, my friends! You will see how those scales will start to tip until more and more of your dreams are coming true. As you see them appear in your life, you will believe even more strongly. Keep believing in the possibilities. Before long they will be a part of your life.

Do you have magical manifestation stories you would like to share? We would love to hear them!