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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It’s a Magical World… Where We Live Magical Lives

Yesterday, as my husband and I were Kayaking, we came upon two Eagles sitting on a log eating a fish. I was able to get within 20 feet of them before they flew away. Then we paddled a bit further on and happened upon a waterfall flowing down into the river. IMG_2487Marty commented that we live a magical life. Why?  Because we had planned a different Kayak trip for the day but it just didn’t feel right, so we skipped it. When we got to the restaurant where we had planned to enjoy an amazing Indian meal but we found it was closed between Lunch and Supper. So we needed to wait about an hour to eat. We had passed this little park a bit back up the St Croix River; so we decided to go back there, put in, and paddle around while we waited for the restaurant to reopen. Because the planned paddle earlier in the day just didn’t feel right and the restaurant was closed when we got to it, we were able to have these remarkable experiences. (Magical Divine timing)

The paddle was beautiful and peaceful. We saw water plants with white flowers on them, that we had not seen in bloom before. IMG_2525We sat awed looking at the amazing Eagles, sitting so close to where we floated. We took a moment to soak in the cool mist from the waterfall as it joined the river. It was truly magical! Marty was right. Think about how many times in your life things don’t work out the way you planned and how many times that spurred you on to something bigger and better? (Life Is Magical)

Those times when you didn’t get the job, the guy, or the trip takes an unexpected curve, those are the times the Divine is working in your life. Those are the times God, Spirit, or the Universe are helping you get to amazing, dreamlike, opportunities and experiences. Ones you could have never imagined if you were fully in control. It is through this trust and moving with the flow of life, that amazing things can happen. Like, on our honeymoon, when we missed out connection in Paris on our layover between Italy and home. Now missing a connection is not something one usually wishes for, but this turned out to be a magical extra night on our honeymoon. We got a night in Paris on the airline, were able to take a whirlwind tour of the city. Taking pictures of many of the most popular attractions there after running into an amazing tour guide of a taxi driver. It was a blessing in disguise.

How many people do you know that were devastated when their marriages fell apart. Now you look at them. Most are in new relationships that are a better fit and they seem so much more joyful and happy with life. I had a time when an employer decided to replace my position with someone else. At the time I was hurt and crushed. But now the job I have is so much better, I make more money, I have the opportunity to travel, and what I am doing I absolutely love. It is, all of the best parts of the old job,without the stressors, and has better perks!

We have all heard the old quote that when things are falling apart sometime they are falling together for the better. It is painful when they are falling apart. It just plain sucks and you can’t understand why it is happening, but if you can look back on these events, you might just see that you are in a better place now. Because you live a magical life. Believe that it will work out! Believe in the possibilities! Keep your thoughts positive! Before you know it you will be living the life of your dreams!

Thank you for reading my blog today! May your life be magical in every way! Blessings friends. I love you!

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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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The Glory and Grace of Mother Earth

Today I am flying home from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) to Minnesota. The PNW is one of my very favorite parts of the country. Work, play, and education have brought me to this fabulous part of the country. I have friends, new and old, scattered about the PNW. The ocean, mountains, and rainforests never fail to cause me awe. As the plane took off, it was a cloudy day. Not so very unusual for this part of the country. I am always hoping for clear days because I love seeing the gigantic volcanic mountains that rise up to make the Cascade Mountain Range look like foothills. Whether it is Seattle’s Mt. Reiner, Portland’s Mt. Hood, the topless Mt. St Helen, or one of the others; I am always dumbstruck at their sight. They are stunningly beautiful and energetically powerful in a way I do not really have the words to express. They cause emotions to rise up within me the way the molten lava could rise up within them at any moment.

As we took off and ascended above the clouds and reached our cruising altitude, I looked out the window and low and behold, there were my mountains. They rose like majestic giants above the clouds. The other mountain range could not be seen but here they were, standing sentinel to the passage of time. The white of the clouds lay before them like some royal carpet, pure and pristine. Here, above the clouds, these silent giants rein supreme. They patiently wait, holding space, inspiring dreams, and standing firmly in the now. Their future is uncertain, but then again, so is ours.

These mountains, like so many beautiful parts of our Mother Earth, have Grace. I used to wear a ring with the word “grace” on it. I aspire to have the presence that one would call grace. We have all met people like this. They have a grace and presence about them. You know when these people enter the room, without ever seeing or hearing them do so. You feel them. They float in causing the space to suddenly seem to vibrate at a slightly higher level. Sometimes these are very serious people, but more often than not, they walk with so much joy that you are drawn to them as if by a mysterious tractor beam. You feel safe, accepted, and loved when you are with them.

Where are your favorite places of Grace on the planet? Is it a waterfall, rocky coast, mountains, forest, desert, or something else? Where do you feel Grace? Where do you feel unconditionally loved and accepted? I love you! I accept you! You are perfect just the way you are! Did you know that? You are!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of finding Grace and of being Grace, 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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Summertime

Summertime in MN is an amazing time. We suffer through the cold winters of ice and snow and when summer comes, it feels like the whole world comes alive. The days are longer and it just seems like there is more time to enjoy the day. There are those who love the Minnesota winter and I must admit that the snow, when it falls soft and fluffy, is beautiful. The peaceful white snow covers the world like a serene blanket. For me though, Summertime is supreme.

I had lived in FL for 10 years and it felt like summer all year long. At the holidays I would plant poinsettias and red and white petunias in the flower beds. Sure, there were times of year that were less hot, but there was no snow or bitter cold. When I moved to Minnesota from Florida, I rediscovered the beauty of all seasons.

In the Autumn, I love the change of colors of the leaves. I love going hiking and feeling the crunch under my feet and the smell of autumn in the air, which I can not adequately described. It is the time of year when the crops are harvested. All the fruits of our labor are fresh and available.  Ripe for the picking.

The Spring slowly awakens after the long slumber of Winter. She stretches herself toward the rising sun and the days get longer. Splashes of color begin to make the world bright again. The promise of warmer days provides hopefulness.

I love them all and always look forward the the newness of the change. None of them can make my soul sing like the summer though. The sparkle of the sun on the lake water. The bright green of the grass. The peacefulness of kayaking down a quiet waterway.  Camping in the forest and sitting around a crackling fire in the evening. All of these things are part of the experience of Summer that I love so much.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May you find things in all season of the year and a season of life to love.

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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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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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What I Love About the BWCA!

What do I love about the BWCA? 
Have you heard of the Boundary Water Canoe Area (BWCA)? If you are a faithful follower of my blog you have. The BWCA is a magical place. There is so much about the BWCA that I love. Want to know what tops my list? 
  1. Quiet! – It is an area for canoeing; truthfully that is your only way in. There are no motorized vehicles, no noisy motors zipping around. You paddle your way through it. You have what you bring in and what nature provides, nothing else. When you get to land you pick up your stuff (including your canoe) and carry it till you get to land. All you hear is nature and the occasional paddles hitting water. It is shocking to come back to reality after so much isolation and quiet. 
  2. Nature– It is the only place I have been to where nature is really left alone. The camp sites consist of a pit toilet and a cooking grate, lots of trees, and critters. It is really you and nature. You hear the wolves howl. We saw a moose swimming across the lake, have been visited by ducks, and heard bears over on an island. It is beautiful!
  3. Privacy -The campsites are spread out; maybe 2 on a small lake and 5 on a bigger lake. You may go the whole time and see only the people you brought with you or see others on the paddle in and the paddle out. Emy and I skinny drip. It is so freeing! Why bother with a swimming suit when it is just you and the critters? 
  4. Beauty – The BWCA is one of the prettiest places I have ever been. Serene beauty is everywhere you look. Shimmering lakes, undisturbed forests, big skies, and wildlife. It is where I feel God! Nature is my church; nowhere (that I have been) is as undisturbed as the BWCA. 
  5. FUN – And a lot of work, but it is the kind of work you feel real proud of when you are done. You feel like “Hell ya! I just did that!”. You can fish if so inclined. Everything is cooked over an open campfire (or a camping stove). You sleep in a tent and spend the rest of your day outdoors. If it rains hang  out under a tarp. I am telling you – there is nothing like it! 
There are so many more reason I love the BWCA…. but for 7pm on Monday night this is a good start. I love you all and appreciate you for stopping by and reading my blog! I look forward to the next time. Have a wonderful rest of your Monday! 

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The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, like so many beautiful areas, may be at risk from exploitation. If you feel so moved please sign the petition below to save this amazing natural resource!

https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/tell-department-interior-and-bureau-land-management-protect-boundary-waters