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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Week 8 of the Daily Meditation Adventure

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

What I have learned: This past week I have had multiple nights where I been challenged by insomnia. I tried to use various guided meditations, for sleep, to assist me through these periods. I learned, that for me, they give me a period of relaxation followed by a second wind. In the end they did not help me attain a restful nights sleep. 

Experiences during the week: I have been experimenting this week with different YouTube meditations. I had one especially powerful experience with a Yoga Nidra meditation. This is a type of meditation I have not experienced before. Upon doing some research I learned the Nidra is the Sanskrit word for sleep. Yoga Nidra is a way of using that stage just between wake and sleep to plant seeds of your intentions. I intend to experiment with this some more. 

My weight: My weight has decreased by 1.8lbs since starting the challenge. In full disclosure I did start intermittent fasting, so I cannot claim that meditation alone caused the weight loss. The meditation does help with the fasting when I feel hungry or tempted to eat. It also helps me feel calmer so I am less likely to partake in emotional eating.  

How I feel: Upon completion of a meditation I feel relaxed. I have been quite stressed lately; feeling all the pressure from multiple sources, bearing down on me. Of course, it is all self induced pressures. There are things I could choose not to participate in, others that I wouldn’t have to push so hard at, and still others that I could put up healthy boundaries around. I choose to continue to try and do it all and be it all. The meditation gives me a brief reprieve from the stress. 

How it is affecting my life: The affect on my life changes from moment to moment. Sometimes meditation is still a stressor – something I have to get done. Other times it gives me a tool to use when life feels out of control. This week I am going to make a conscious effort to find time to meditate when life feels out of control. When all of life pressures are causing me to feel uncomfortable, then I will turn to meditation as a moment of freedom from it all. 

I would love to hear your experiences with this. Have you found your preferred meditation style? Do you have a preferred meditation space? Is meditation helping enhance your life?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of healthy habits which settle themselves into your life 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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Week 5 check ~ Daily Meditation Adventure

Here we go!

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: During one meditation this week I received a message about being true to who you are. I feel every day that I learn a little better who I am.

My weight: I have gained 2.2 lbs since the start of this challenge. Certainly not the outcome I was hoping to share with you. We are only about a 1/3 of the way into the challenge though. I refuse to give up! I will meditate on with new enthusiasm.

How I feel: I am having a lot of lower back pain. It is something I deal with from time to time but this episode is the worst I have had in sometime. I partially blame the weight gain for the back pain. More weight, pulling on an area of my body, that is already not at optimal functioning. I also feel frustrated that weight is not just falling off my frame. Perhaps I need to try and increase my meditation from once a day to twice a day.

What I have learned: I have learned that being in pain can affect my calm. I can, at times, get a little snappy with people. I see this episode of back pain as in invitation from the Universe to maintain my inner Zen, even when there are distractions and things that may be causing me to not feel my best.

How it is affecting my life: I am finding that the daily meditation is something I “have to do”. This is not the way I wanted to feel about it. I find that I am slipping it into other experiences like during a massage or an event, such as a shamanic drum journey, as counting. I want to be able to tell you I feel more calm and centered but that is certainly not true today. I refuse to give up! I know I will eventually get into my grove.

I would love to hear your experiences with this. I hope you are having a more profound lift with shifting experiences. If you are snuggling a bit, like I am, its ok. Don’t give up! We will get there!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of learning to know your true self even better.

I love you.

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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Cockeyed Optimist!

I have been accused of being a Pollyanna or of wearing rose colored glasses. People say I am not a realist and that I should share my magical miracle wand. So I ask you, is optimism a super power or is it kryptonite?

I believe that my tomorrow is going to be even better than today. I believe that my life is magical and blessed. Things have a way of always working out for me. Does this make me wrong. Am I not a realist if I believe that everything is going to work out? What does it say about me that I can always see the silver lining in a situation?

When things do not turn out the way I hoped or believed they were going to work out, I believe there is a purpose in this. It is the Universe’s way of leading me to a better option or better situation. My dreams will still come true. In fact, they will not only come true, but will surpass my wildest expectations. And so it is!

Emy and I entered our books into a contest where 3 participants would have the opportunity to get their books published. We were sure we were going to win. It didn’t happen – at least not yet. I will tell you this though, our books will be published! We have since submitted them to another publisher. We will continue to do whatever it takes to see our books in print. We will continue to believe that our dream of helping hundreds of thousands of people through this series of books will be realized.

Many may say that I am not being realistic. They may say my feet are not on the ground but I am a driven individual who will not be dissuaded from forging on toward what I know will be realized. Lisa Nichols, who wrote Abundance Now, says that manifestation and visualization are useless without action. That action is the fuel on the fire to bring what you want into reality. I want to help people grow, like I have, from a scared child into an adult who knows I deserve to live my dream life.

You too deserve to live your dream life. It is there for you. Even when it feels like it is not. Keep believing in the dream! Keep pushing forward! Do not let anyone tell you it can’t or won’t happen! It is worth the extra effort to live a magical life! You can do it! You will do it… if only you believe!

Thank you for reading my blog today! I wish you a lifetime of endless energy and resources to move your dreams forward into reality! I love you!

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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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Exceeding with Determination

This week the Universe had lessons in determination for me. Travel changes and personal goals set a high bar that made determination a must if I was going to achieve the outcome I wanted.  And in one case, I overcame my goal through sheer grit and a lot of help from my friends. 

The week started like most of my weeks do. An early morning flight, with a connection in Chicago, was my commute to work. As I got settled into my seat on the first flight, I received a message that my second flight had been canceled. I had to decide if I was still going on or if I was going to turn around and go home and work from there for the week. I knew the reason for my trip was important to the office I was visiting, so I decided to venture on. Then there was a delay in my first leg of the trip. Again, I reconsidered if the trip was necessary, decided it was and chose to voyage on. The delays and cancelations were due to mechanical issues but the airline was doing the right thing by putting safety first. When I arrived in Chicago, some out of the box thinking produced the idea to rent a car and drive the rest of the way. I was grateful to be able to achieve my purpose for the trip and it was a good week. It was one of those work weeks where you know you made a difference. 

Now to get back home. Getting home on time was really important to me this week because I had changed plans to originally go to Florida Thursday night and instead be home for my daughter’s golden birthday. She is a very family oriented person and I knew my presence was important to her. She even said as much in the numerous text and email inquiries as to whether I’d be there or not. Thursday morning I received word that the first flight of my trip home was canceled. Oh boy! I was determined not to disappoint my daughter, so I got on the phone with the airline and eventually it was determined that the best solution was to again drive back to Chicago where I could catch the second flight, which was still scheduled and showing departure on-time. It was going to be close for me to make it back to Chicago, but again, I was determined! Luckily the stars aligned and I made it with no troubles. 

The second lesson of the week in determination came when I decided that I wanted to boost our numbers on our Facebook page. We have submitted our 3 book proposals to Hay House and are waiting to hear of our acceptance to be the next Hay House Authors. Publishing is a business and the publishing company needs to know that there are people out there who want to buy your books. The numbers of followers you have is important to them and they check to see. So I set out on a campaign to get people, I knew who supported our journey, to click the “like” button of FB. I started messaging my friends. Facebook thought differently and eventually blocked me from sending messages after I sent 136 out. I was not messaging strangers but rather friends, family, and coworkers. I didn’t let that stop me though! I recorded a video of myself (something I have never done before) and posted it to Facebook asking for everyones support to “like” and “share” our page and thanked those who already had. The response was overwhelming.  Our friends and family flew to our aid and started liking and sharing our page. Initially I only wanted to get to 300 likes. This will still be a small number to Hay House but to us it felt huge! Not only did we realize this goal but we have hit 400 in 24 hours! Determination, not being afraid to ask for help, and friends and family who support our mission are what made this success possible. I feel that by the end of the week, we will see us nearing the 500 mark, which is my new personal goal. I am so grateful for the people who cared enough to support us but also for the determination that left me plugging away and thinking outside the box to get to the next milestone and beyond. 

I have a friend who is an astrologer. He always would tell me that even when the stars are aligned, if you don’t make use of the energy, it will not benefit you. When the potential is there, you must use your own will and determination to move the ball forward. Sometimes you may even surprise yourself! 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of supportive people and the determination to exceed your goals! I love you! 

**Photo credit today goes to my Niece Jordan who took this inspiring shot! I appreciate her generosity in letting me use it on today’s blog.

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The More Stressed the Vine the Better the Wine. 

Today Marty and I had the pleasure of attending a wine tasting with my friend. The lady wine expert, at the vineyard, happily told us about the wines and the growing process. She explain to us that they stress the plants because “…the more stressed the vine the better the wine.” I think this is a great metaphor for our development in life. 

When you hear the life stories of admirable people, they often had a rough start or very difficult lives. Some of my most amazing close friends, who now live wonderful and healthy lives, had huge past struggles and stresses that many of us cannot imagine. Like the story of the addict who has to hit rock bottom, but once they do, they completely turn their life around and never look back. 

When life’s hard and you are really feeling stressed ad tested, remember this quote. Remember that this stress is helping you to become a better version of yourself. Just as it takes pressure to turn coal into a diamond. That stress and pressure are there to help you to transform. To help you become an even better version of yourself. 

At this time in my life, by my choices, I am currently very stressed and horribly busy. I work a full time job, that is more than a little demanding. I volunteer as the admin for the local Buy Nothing group. I am writing blogs, getting book proposals ready to submit, participating in Toastmasters and functioning as their club secretary. Add to that rehabbing a rental property with my husband, helping our children and making time for our grandchildren. My job requires travel, so I am gone about 4 days a week. There is a lot of stress to do a lot and to do it well. Sometimes the pressure seems overwhelming. How do I get through it all? How do I find the gumption to keep going? I try to remind myself that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. I pick one task and work to get that accomplished and move forward. Even during a period of stress, keep moving to grow the best fruit possible. You might just find you are amazed at what you can accomplish. 

It is like when Emy and I go to the boundary waters. It has not been easy. There has been a lot of work, stress, and pressure involved. The process of sticking with it and keeping one foot moving in front of the other, has helped us continue to evolve in our skills out there in the wilderness. It has taught us how much we are capable of and given us a new sense of pride and self worth. All of the hard work is totally worth it. It makes for an awesome trip. That is why we keep going back. You may think that the BWCA is a fun thing we go and do, and you would be correct. You may not see how something so fun is at all the same as the stress and demand of everyday life. I want to remind you that fun is a state of mind and It can all be fun. No matter what you are doing, if your attitude is right.

So when it all feels like too much, take a deep breath, and remember the fruits of your labor will be all the sweeter, once you overcome the current stress and pressure. 

Thank you or reading my blog today. I wish you a life full of sweet rewards as a result for journeying on. 

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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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