Nature Will Always, ALWAYS Take Back What Is Hers

Have you ever noticed that when humans step away from things, Mother Nature is quick to say “Ok, I’ll take that back”. Sometimes she even takes it back before we might be ready to give it up. This thought has occurred to me several occasions over the last year or so. In the end, all that we think is ours, (including our bodies) will belong to Nature once again. IMG_1612

Have you seen where a store has closed and no-one has gone into the parking lot for awhile? It doesn’t take long before there is all kinds of green grass and weeds growing up through the blacktop. I tried to look up how long it would take for New York City to revert to nature if humans disappeared. The answer was not as easy as I thought it might be. Somethings would happen rather quickly like wildlife returning, vegetation growing up, and things starting to decompose. Within 10 years Nature would definitely have an eco-system functioning quite well within the city. Give it another 50 years, 100 years or 200 years  and it would be nothing more than ruins among the wilderness.

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Sometime the human race doesn’t even need to step back. Sometimes Mother Nature decides she wants something back and will force herself on a certain area until once again it is hers. Sometimes we can do something about this; like fill in a sink whole, rebuild after an earthquake, or divert water to another course. Other times there is nothing we do can to persuade the natural world to give us back what we “think” is ours. IMG_6458

When you really think about it, if Mother Earth decided that she was no longer going to tolerate us, and wanted to take back all that we think is ours, there is not a thing we can do to stop her. Have you been through a natural event? Hurricane, tornado, flood or earthquake? Have you ever truly seen the power of nature? Have you been there when she swoops in fierce and angry? There is nothing we can do to stop her when she is like this? DSC_0231

Even when she is not full of turmoil and destruction, even when we think we are living in harmony with her, she is slowly taking back what is hers. It is only through our constant maintenance, presence, and a pushing back, that we maintain a delicate hold on our corners of the world.

So the next time you see a crack in the sidewalk filled with “weeds”,  an IMG_2702abandon building that is over run by vines, or the pigeons sitting on the head of your favorite statue; realize that this is Mother Nature. Patiently waiting for her opportunity to take back what was once hers, alone. Remember to thank her and offer her blessings for allowing us to coexist with her. Respect her and try your best to take care of her and the creatures that are part of her. Keep in mind that she could wipe us from the face of the earth at a moments notice, if she so chose to. Nature will always win in the end. She will always take back what is hers.

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Thank you for reading my blog today. May you easily and happily coexist with Nature, as if by magic.

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The Most Beautiful Place I Have Ever Been; Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

When we were planning our trip to Croatia, I was very excited to be able to visit this park full of waterfalls. I was sure it was nice but I had no idea how breathtakingly beautiful this visit would be. I have loved waterfalls since I saw my first one in Ireland. I now try an see them every chance I can get. I have heard that there is healing energy that is released by the cascading water. If you have ever stood near a large waterfall, I’m sure you have felt the energy it releases.

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I feel my words cannot adequately share with you the beauty of this park. Please enjoy my pictures with the hope that they might give you at least a little glimpse of the amazing glory of this place on earth. If you get the chance to visit, go! I suggest trying an early morning visit as this park is very popular and very large.

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The color of the water is breathtaking. From some quick internet research it seems limestone deposits are to credit for the stunning color of the water.

The water is also crystal clear too. My stepson’s quick eyes noticed this boat sunk under the clear water, pushed up against edge by the flow of the water, trapping it there for us to discover.

Of course, the beauty of this natural world is not without it’s dangers. This park is full of cliffs with drops-offs and some caves that offer fun climbs for the brave.

This park is dazzling because nature made it so. The park is also full of thoughtful walkways made to blend in gracefully with the lovely natural surroundings.

Veliki Slap or Big Waterfall brought me to tears when I saw it and I am not a person easily moved to tears. The magnificence of this fall did, what few things have done before.

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I have traveled a lot and I have been to many amazing places both natural and manmade. It will take a lot for this place to be dethroned as the most beautiful place I have been.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May your life offer you adventures to beautiful places, that take your breath away, as if by magic.

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OMG! Read This Book! It will take you places you didn’t know you need to go. (An update on my Complaint Free Adventure)

A recent post from a FaceBook Friend set me off on a journey I didn’t know I needed to go on. My other blog, Can You Go 21 Days in a Row Without Complaining?, explains the journey and how I found myself on it. Until I started this adventure, I had no idea how much I complained. Until I read the book, I did not correlate how complaining and focusing on what I did not want to happen, was stealing from me the opportunity to live my dreams.

I am about 2 weeks into my “Complaint Free World” Adventure. I’ve been using my cute little happy turtle bracelet to switch back and forth on my wrist every time I complain. The articles suggested this action as a way of bringing my complaining to my attention. I thought I could easily whip through the 21 days and be off to my next adventure. Nope. After 2 weeks I am still on day 1. Because I am struggling so much with this challenge, I decided to buy Will Bowen’s book, A Complaint Free World; How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted.

This book has taught me so much.

1 I am not alone in the fact that I complain “way” more than I realized.

2 I modeled this for my children and taught them to complain, as they grew up, without ever realizing it.

3 It is robbing me from living my dreams.

4 Complaining is contagious.

5 It does make for easy conversation starters.

6 I have a lot of work to do to become the best me I can be.

These are just a few of the lessons I have learned from reading the Will’s book. I felt it was necessary for me to read the book because I was wondering what was wrong with me that I could not make it “one day” without complaining. It was a comfort to me that even the author of the book, as well as most other people who go on this journey, find getting through one whole day complaint free, a struggle.

I continue to push on towards living a complaint free existence. I will continue switching my bracelet back and forth until the day I notice it has rested, undisturbed, on the same wrist for a whole day. I will then work towards going another and another day until I break this habit of complaining.

I am currently at the stage where I am starting to become aware of my complaints. Hopefully, soon, I will enter the stage where I stop them before they even cross my lips. Luckily, no switch of the bracket is required for unspoken complaints. I will strive to live my great grandmothers advice. “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all”, she would tell us.  Ura McGurran was so wise.  I am human; a work in progress that is striving towards practicing what I preach and in search of living my dreams.

I did decide to go to Will’s website and purchase the purple bracelets he sells for this challenge. I have been using my cute little turtle bracelet but, after hearing how many people broke brackets switching them back and forth, I decided a purple silicone bracelet would be a great idea. I really like my little turtle bracelet.

Will you join me on this adventure? Will you walk this journey towards a Complaint Free World with me? I hope so but make sure you bring a lot of bracelets if you do.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find yourself moving easily in the direction of your dreams, as if by magic.

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Croatia; A Visual Journey Through a Country of Splendor

My husband, stepson, and I recently journeyed to Croatia. This country was such a surprise to me. I found a country full of rich heritage, natural beauty, and kindness. I had first heard of it a few years ago when another friend traveled there to learn his family’s heritage. I had no idea what to expect. Through this blog, I would like to share some photos of this beautiful land. 

I must tell you, I thought writing an “photo” blog would be an easy shortcut to getting a blog done. That turned out to not be the case at all. There are just so many lovely photos to chose from and so much I want to share with you about Croatia, I decided I will have to do a short series to share even a handful of the photos and the experiences with you.

Let’s start by talking about the people of Croatia and their hospitality. Complete strangers opened their homes, restaurants and kitchens to us.

Recently meet, long lost relatives, brought us (three types of) grapes they had grown, their freshly ripened plums, fresh bread they had recently baked, and salami they had made from animals they raised.

 

 

Their generosity was overwhelming to me. Such a blessing to share with us.

Early one morning, as we were traveling along the coast, we stopped for breakfast. We did not really grasp that Croatia does not do breakfast in the way America does. A restaurant owner, who was setting up for their daily lunch rush of 200 factory workers, welcomed us in. He happily brought us a smorgasbord of food, cooked us eggs and visited with us. Another blessing on our trip.

 

 

 

Next I want to share with you the landscape. Croatia is a relatively small area geographically. The State of Minnesota (where I live) is 4 times larger than Croatia. The landscape of Croatia is very diverse. As we drove across the country we would see the landscape change and change again. It is such a beautiful country.

 

There were coastlines, forests (of different types depending on region), mountains and valleys. We saw farmland and we saw arid land that would never be farmable. All of it was breathtaking in it’s own way.

Growing along the roadways we saw grapes, pears, apples, plums and sugarcane. There was a valley we drove through were you could see many diverse crops all growing in close proximity to one another. Honey and Med was often offered for sale in roadside stands.

 

The homes changed from area to area also. In the North we noticed a lot of cute balconies adorned with flowers. There were brightly colored flowers everywhere we went.

 

There was such charm in their homes, it was easy to believe that this is a very happy place to live.

 

Business and churches also had a lot of charm. Often, as we were driving down the road, I would squeal in glee seeing a church that was so cute. We would have never have made it around the country if we had stopped to take a picture of everything that caught my eye.

This country is truly a country of splendor. It starts with the people and their big, kind, generous, giving hearts. It moves on to a beautiful landscape that covers all of the country as it morphs from area to area and is covered in charming homes, business, and places of worship.

I will be writing future photo blogs about our trip to Croatia. There is just too much to share for one blog cover all of it.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your life be filled with journey to places of splendor, as if by magic.

** Thank you to SydneysByDesign for doing photo editing to featured image on the blog. Your work is breathtaking!

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Can You Go 21 Days in a Row Without Complaining?

I am here to ask if you would go on another adventure with me? This is a challenge that sounds easy, but it is not for the squeamish. This will require you to come face to face with the type of energy you are REALLY putting out into the world. When I first heard of this challenge, or movement might be more appropriate, I thought it sounded like something I could master pretty easily. After all, I am a positive person. At least I thought I was a positive person. Does this intrigue you? Do you think you can do it? Of course you can. We can do it together.

First, let me start by telling you this is one of the reasons I LOVE social media. This movement, was totally off my radar, until I saw it in a Facebook friends post. She was starting the challenge of 21 consecutive days of being complaint free. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. Thankfully, she posed a link to a keynote speech given by Will Bowen. After watching his speech, I thought, this is something I have to do even though I had no idea what this was going to entail and what it would teach me about myself.

I naively jumped into this challenge believing my natural Pollyanna attitude would carry me easily to day 21. I knew I was not perfect. I do hear myself complain from time to time. I know, that at times, I even relish the complaining. Really enjoying an occasional good “bitch session”.  Let me tell you something. Despite how self aware I think I may be, I have big old “blind spot” where I don’t see my own imperfections. I complain, A LOT.  I have been on this adventure now for about a week and I am still on day one.

One of my favorite things Will says, in his key note speech is, “There is no shame in day one”. Boy oh boy, I have embraced this as my mantra! After a week I am still on day one. I think some of the days I have complained less, than I would have, before I started this adventure. I have certainly become more aware of how quickly and easily I do complain. I am trying to notice when I am the one who is initiating the complaints verses when I am the one who jumping on the complaint bandwagon. I will tell you, I am certainly guilty of both.

I was beginning to feel a bit discouraged by my inability to get past day one. I thought, maybe I wasn’t keeping it front of my mind, enough? I get it that complaining is a habit and will take time to break it, but a week without being able to go past 1 day without voicing a complaint?! What am I doing wrong? I decided I need to keep the adventure front of mind for myself. I looked for the audio book that Will wrote. It’s called, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted. I downloaded it and started to listen to it while I was commuting. Surely, this will be what I need to remain complaint free for a day or two. Nope! I am still catching myself complaining but there is some really great stuff happening. 

One of the really wonderful things is I am now aware of myself and my complaining in a way I have never been in the past. I am telling you, I really thought I was Stacy Sunshine. I was more than a bit surprised to find out that is “not” the vibration I am sharing with the world all of the time. The other thing that I learned, from listening to Will’s book is this; he struggled too. He did not immediately jump to day 2. There were days he celebrated that he only complained 5 times. Ok, so now I feel better. I am not alone in my Eeyore nature. We “all” do it.

I do know this! I do not want to be a complainer. I do not what to bring others down and put negative vibrations out into the world or even boost myself up by gossiping about others. This is not who I am on a soul level! This is not the person I am here to be. I want to raise the vibration and be an inspiration. So, you want to go on an adventure with me?! Let’s do a 21 consecutive days; complaint free! I will write update blogs to let you know how I am doing and you can share hints, tips, and tricks of what is helping you along the way. Together we can help Will’s movement of a complaint free world spread even further and faster across this planet. He does say; it takes most people about 8 months to reach the 21 days. Let’s see if we can beat that!

We can do this! Remember that Will says; “There is no shame in day one”. Want to join this adventure?! Why not? What have you got to loose?

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find your spirit positive and your words hopeful, as if by magic.

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What Comes After the 90 Meditation Adventure?

It has been 90 days, plus some, since I started my daily meditation blogging adventure and it has been an adventure full of learning. Meditation did not always happen daily for me, even though I would like to start a daily practice of meditation. I know that when I did meditated, my days were enhanced, my mood was calmer, my writings were more inspired.  I feel some of the best blogs I have written, were written after a session of meditation. For example; A Story of Remembering, was written after a meditation on creativity. I feel it was Divinely inspired. 

So now what? I want to continue to meditate daily. Do I continue to write a weekly blog about it? Do I admit to the number of days that mediation does not happen? Maybe It should be a year long adventure but It is so easy to put everything else before my meditation. Time with family and friends, work, even blogging and preparing the Meme’s for the Adventure Sisters’ FB page. 

I also wonder if the meditation check-in blogs are helpful to anyone. Does it help you to know that I too struggle with incorporating this into a daily practice? I wouldn’t go about my day without brushing my teeth; shouldn’t meditation be just as important? It is like food for the soul; a dipping of my toe in to the ethereal bounty of the collective consciousness. 

I especially like meditation outdoors! I feel a part of the world around me and fully present. I hear the birds’ songs, crackle of the fire, rustle of the leaves, something moving further out in the forest, and the sound of other campers packing up this morning; as I sit in quiet meditation at my campsite in a Wisconsin State Park. There is a peacefulness that falls over me like a blanket as a result of this quiet time. I feeling that all is right with the world. It seems my psyche steps away from the everyday anxieties that can be a part of life in the world today. 

While I am in meditation, if feels safe to gently touch the emotions that I am uncomfortable experience in normal life. I can slowly accept them rather than the constant pushing down or pushing off, that are my typical ways of dealing with them. 

My thoughts seem clearer, words flow more easily, and the bigger picture becomes obvious. Everyday annoyances take their place as little things that do not contribute to or enhance the vibration I wish to bring to the world. All of this after only a couple of minutes of quiet meditation. Imagine if I was meditating 20 minutes or an hour a day. What would be possible then? I will continue with working toward a committed meditation practice. Why? Because committing to me is important. It will help me show up as the type of person I truly want to be. It will help me shine my little light so that others can see it and find within themselves their own light to shine. 

I will continue to blog about my experiences. I can’t say if it will be a weekly blog. I am guessing sometimes it will and sometimes it will not. That is okay. There is Divinity in the breaking of patterns. What is needed today will not be the same as what is needed tomorrow. I will flow easily where Spirit guides me and wish the same for you. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your life flow easily in the direction of your dreams, as if by magic. 

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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A Story of Adoption… My Story

When I was young I got pregnant. This was during the time in my life that I lovingly refer to as my ‘evil rebellious years’. I would fight with my mother for  just the sake of fighting and, of course, thought I knew everything about life. I was no longer living in my parents home for precisely these reasons. When I first realized I was pregnant, I was very happy and excited. I went shopping with a friend and bought a teddy bear that was wearing shorts with neon green smiley faces for this little spirit that was growing inside of me. I also ran into an ex-boyfriend’s Aunt shared with her my excitement. She one of the very first people who knew I was pregnant.

It didn’t take long, however, for me to come to the realization that my life was not conducive to raising a child and providing her with a life, I felt, she deserved. I had no job at the time. I was living on a friend’s couch. The future did not look bright. I had to make a very hard decision and I decided to place my baby for adoption. 

That same ex-boyfriend’s Aunt and Uncle had not been able to have children together. I called her and asked if she would raise my baby. I really think I shocked her. It is not the kind of call you expect to get. My mother was worried about having someone I knew adopt my baby and asked me to talk to an adoption agency. I did as she asked but it was not a good experience. They actually made threats that if I gave my child to someone of my choosing they would have me charged with child abandonment. What a terrible thing to threaten a 18 year old girl with. I was just trying to do the right thing for this little life that had been created by my actions. 

Lawyers got involved and the Aunt and Uncle started the long process of home studies to prove they would provide a safe and loving home for this little soul. I can not speak to everything they went though, in order to adopt this baby, as I was quite a bit removed from the process but it was a lot.  

From the time I was 3 months pregnant, I thought of this child growing inside me as their child. I am not sure I could have gone through with letting her go if I had not. When she was born, her mother was at the hospital. They were kind to me at the hospital, putting me in a private room just outside of the maternity ward. During my stay, her mother would come and spend time in my room with her. I remember one morning a well meaning nurse brought the little one into my room for me to give her a bottle. My only guess as to why she did this was because she thought I might want to keep her if I fed her. What this nurse could not have possibly known is that I did want to keep her. I would have loved to have taken her home with me, but I knew I could not offer her the life she deserved. 

When I was released from the hospital, her mother drove me home, dropped me off and left with her. It was the first time in 9 months I had been without her. It felt so strange. I will be forever grateful to her mother for doing what I could not do. She loves her, made sacrifices for her, and raised her to be a remarkable woman. I am so proud of the amazing person she has grown to be. 

Her mother kept me informed about her life, invited me to events, and allowed her to spend time with my grandparents. I was so amazed in her love and unselfishness. I love her for this. 

When I share this story with others they open up with their own stories of placing children for adoption, being adopted, or other adoption stories within their own family. Adoption touches far more people than we realize. I am not embarrassed by my choice to place my baby with a different Mom and Dad. They gave her a better life. It was a decision I made out of love. Just as their choice to welcome this little soul into their life was also made out of love. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your past choices made from love give you peace, as if by magic. 

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