Posted in Choices, Journey, Life

Release “ME”

And here it is…what could be the last post for some time, perhaps. Something has shown up on my radar and is growing stronger. It’s been here in the background for quite some time now but I wasn’t ready, nor did I want to acknowledge it, and so I sent it back, trying to mute and dismiss it.

It surely feels strange to arrive at this point and life has a new intense ness, a new feeling of being alive and most of all actioning things, vs. letting them pass me, watching from the sidelines as an onlooker to my own story. To feel everything with yet increased awareness, to truly pay attention and grasp the opportunity to choose, whether we want to listen, take note, act on what has bubbled up or dismiss it for yet another time. But believe me when I say that what is meant to be will always return, and soon or later it comes to the surface once more until we finally deal with it.

When it comes to this blog, it has been my companion for quite some time. It has been my constant and it has listened and allowed me to shed/share my heart while being herd and understood. And that understanding has come from you, my beautiful dear fellow bloggers. It has been my outlet, my friend, the one that has heard my cry’s and struggles. The one who has been a witness in the “Becoming ” and has attended a hundred funerals of the old self that once were me. It has witnessed this Phoenix rise over and over after fighting my battles with a chronic dis-ease and the many cross roads weaving it’s way through this life in general. Best of all, it has brought me to you and allowed me to make some pretty special connections and friendships. I am rich because of it and I know that it has been a big part as to why I dismissed the call before.

In a way it felt like I would let you down by not being present here on a daily basis. You who might have found something useful in my ramblings. You who might have needed me and you who have been my constant, my loyal supporters. You who have seen me through, and you who stopped by on a regular basis to comment and not let me walk alone. I felt like losing something very special, something I value a great deal, an old friend, my outlet and the precious connections we have built together. Now, I don’t believe that anymore. The blog is not going anywhere and is here for me whenever I need to type my heart and thoughts onto paper or into virtual space like here. And true friends are forever and today I refuse to believe in the old adage that says “Out of sight, out of mind.” And yes, I am doing “ME” (finally) in the process of it all, while releasing myself. I have acknowledged the call….finally.

And yet it’s with a partially heavy heart that I have arrived at the conclusion to stop writing for awhile and to embrace a new chapter. As with all change, it will take some getting used to and God knows that I have had this feeling a few times before, and God knows that I have resisted it.

As I walk through the doorway of new possibilities, I will still post to Aspendell_Retreat on Instagram, building my new future, building a tiny house in a remote area in the wild. Many of you have my contact and email information to stay in touch and I would love that.

I feel that I have gathered many lessons over the past couple of years and now is the time to integrate this learnings. I am grateful for the foundation to put all these learnings into action and let them become the new me. Eventually I will revamp this blog and go back to how it started so I can tell a more precise story without filler distractions. So if you are interested, please stay tuned and continue to join me on this next adventure of my journey.

Until then my friends…I love you to the moon and back.

Posted in Attitude, Choices, Inspiration

Your August Reminder

It was last week that I saw this reminder. It came in perfect timing and during a phase I needed to see it. It’s a collection of my own preachings and learning summarized by another. Confirmed and proven. There are no ordinary moments and spirit always speaks to us if we are willing to see the signs and listen. I hope you enjoy these words by Lisa Buscomb with my love and highest regards.

Life isn’t about feeling happy in every moment. Life is about balance. It’s about good times and hard times. It’s about mundane everyday moments. It’s about anticipation and excitement, fear and worries. Life is about the whole spectrum of emotions. Don’t beat yourself up trying to feel happy in every moment, that isn’t what life is about. Feel every emotion. Live life. Live every feeling. Live in the moment whether you are joyful, sad, angry or blissfully happy. It may not feel like a perfect life. But it is a life of adventure, of experience and of everyday moments, just as it should be.

Posted in Attitude, Awareness, Choices, Pain

Sacred mornings

It wasn’t always this way and there was a time, many years actually, that I struggled with getting up early. Every minute was calculated when my day started to the sound of an alarm clock and I would stay in bed as long as possible. And I wasn’t a morning person at all. Not unfriendly but definitely not chatty either. After all my time was carefully measured and every minute was allocated to getting ready and out the door.

Being self retired now, I still sleep in here and there when my body needs to catch up from nights and days that are full of pain and little rest. It’s a freedom I am grateful to have and one I don’t ever take for granted. Mom taught me early on to save for a nest egg and with our combined efforts, I have managed four blissful years off the rat race and the hamster wheel. But it hasn’t always been like living on Easy Street and it’s not a life of roses every day. You have to be committed to different priorities and reevaluate what is important to you. For me it boiled down to change and knowing that it was eminent and required for survival and if I wanted to see a future.

Today, my mornings have become sacred to me and oftentimes I am up early, just easing my way into the day. It’s simply blissful when everything is still quiet and a new day is just starting. It is mornings like these when I am in little pain, that I harness this energy and that particular feeling to give me strengths for the days when I am in more pain. All too well I know how quickly a positive attitude goes out the door when I am struggling. Pain overshadows everything, it just simply does and it’s hard to hold on when those days strike. So remembering the good times, the mornings of bliss, a few hours in time that truly allowed us to be peaceful inside, are the best nourishments I can think of. Feelings carry us, good and bad, both are a part of life, but the ones we choose to hold on to when we are in the right frame of mind and able to do so, those are always up to us.

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Choices, Health

Revisiting the health front

This was my birthday dinner that was served to me the other day. Yay, a day without cooking and being the one spoiled. Maybe not the healthiest choice but definitely a simple delicious one. After a day out swimming and relaxing it was a quick and easy one, not adding too much “cooking heat” to the already warm living spaces. Plus all too often these simple meals we couldn’t appreciate as a child, have now become a delicacy and just the right thing.

Nearly two months have passed since my return from Germany and it’s hard to believe. Up until last week I could barely talk and just now my voice has finally returned to fully normal. What an experience that was and something I never felt before. A hoarse voice…ok…but to lose it for 1 1/2 months is something entirely else. It was scary to say the least. And then with the slow progress and return of the voice came the pinched nerve in the left shoulder. Massaging the area helped some but very little. Not even the prescribed muscle relaxer seemed to help in any way other than making me drowsy. And just like in common old fashion for me, even this occurrence was extreme and like nothing else I had before. I have dealt with pinched nerves before but this one sent my left arm all the way to my fingertips into a tingle as if it was asleep. So uncomfortable. In bad cases it began to burn and cramp up in the palm of my hand. I couldn’t type and yes, I am behind answering comments again. Today is the first time I am actually writing again and it’s because of issues like that why I schedule posts ahead of time. Because I know I will have down times. In either case I hope I can still get past the numbness in the fingers and that this will subside as well.

So what has changed and what has contributed to getting better, I analyze during my Self check in? The heat has been unbearable and causing for joint swelling. Swelling reduces mobility, especially in my hands, which renders me unable to make a fist. But water consumption has increased, flushing out toxins. Not really an Aha-moment, but once again reconfirming to what I know already. Now if I can just keep it up…maybe…well you know the answer and my struggles with drinking enough water. But water alone is not what did it, at least I don’t think so and it’s always deeper than that.

All of a sudden I remembered my own home remedies, muscle creams, inflammation inhibitors and even CBD potions I’ve used before but couldn’t bring with me to Germany. Low and behold two days in and applying it twice, I can almost make a fist and I am back to typing. Mmmh…plus another awareness struck me at the same time.

I remembered a book a dear blogger friend suggested to me called “You can heal your life” by Louise Hay. I looked up what the potential cause for hand pain could be, and there it slapped me right in the face.

“Hold and handle. Clutch and grip. Grasping and letting go. Caressing. Pinching. All ways of dealing with experiences.”

Is it any wonder? There has been so much of that over the last couple of months. Selling a house in Germany while building a new future here. Grasping and letting go. Coming to terms and clearing my childhood home while clutching and gripping a few special material memories. I was holding on while I was trying to handle everything. I was dealing with all experiences, at times caressing the moment and on then feeling it’s hurtful pinch again. I am a believer that our mental health and our beliefs, as well as the way we carry ourselves and handle stress and our problems, our way of thinking, how well we take care of ourselves, including nutrition and exercise is a direct reflection on our physical health. I do believe that we can heal our life and I hope that some day I will belong to that circle, however big or small who can attest to this theory and speak from experience. I feel that in many ways I can already, but I do have a chronic condition to defeat yet. At the least and for today, I am determined and I am hopeful.

Posted in Choices, Journey, Life

Dreaming bigger yet…

What a big step, but I did it and if I don’t take the plunge now and just go for it, my dreams will never happen. I believe that opportunities fall into all of our laps, whether we have the guts to pursue them is a whole other story. It definitely takes courage to say the least. Well here we are…I purchased land and this picture showcases a small section of where the future building site will be. And I would like to keep the wooden poles…yeah don’t ask.

It’s funny how life works sometimes and I have become a great listener and seer of the signs and opportunities it throws our way. About a year ago, we found a cool little lot that already had electric and sewer on it. That’s quite an expense to be saving but the lot was a little small and too shady with little sunlight. Back and forth, undecided, weighing the pros and cons of the little light but it being in an area that was highly desirable, the lot sold and soon a little camper moved in.

Within the same year another lot became available. Perfect in size and higher up on the mountain, with amazing panoramic views. The road itself is remote and only two more houses were higher up which would make it a very quiet and peaceful area to live in. Still not quite ready to purchase and with Germany hanging in limbo, I don’t know how many times we drove up and just sat at the lot, taking in the views, dreaming of all the possibilities and what could be. The lot was a bit pricey, but still worth it. But we didn’t jump on it and Germany had to be sorted first. So I went…

Just a few weeks before my return back to the states the lot was taken off the market and the “For Sale” sign disappeared. Long story short, eventually it had a contractor sign on it and we realized that someone had bought it. The second opportunity had passed by, in that quiet serene area, on that very road we wanted to be. There is only a number of houses in that area, while several land parcels are untouched, but how is someone to know who they belonged to and if they were interested in selling. Anyways, I was sad to see the opportunity had passed by and it stung a bit even though I tried to convince myself that the right one would come along when the time was right.

So it came to be that while inquiring about another lot that the realtor casually mentioned that another lot is coming up for sale in that area that hadn’t even been listed yet. Within that day the lot was seen and inspected for possibilities. Low and behold it was just slightly below the pricey one that had just gotten away. Same size, same potential, same views (after clearing a few trees) half the price. A commitment was made to purchase and the land is currently going throw escrow with an expected close in mid July. I have spent the last two days revisiting my prior house plan I designed last year and made some changes. Big plans for a house and a “She Shed”, a panoramic deck, a future Air Bnb at the bottom of the lot, and more are on the way. I hope that I get to build this home in all it’s detail while still staying self retired. Worse case scenario I will be in a bigger tiny home on wheels, but on my own land. I need to dream bigger and see it in all it’s glory that in my mind already has come to pass. Much work lies ahead but the planning process shall be fun.

Posted in Choices, Health, Inspiration

Pick your poison and the power of choice

There is always a decision to make. We have the gift of choice. And when it comes to our energy and vitality we have more input that we might be aware of. Take a look at these examples of what either gives you energy to power through all of your must do’s, or what takes it away.

Let’s start with the energy givers: a glass of water, sunlight, nourishing food, exercise, laughter, cuddles with a pet, self-care, meditation, visualization, reading, music, fresh air, friends & family, creativity, writing, journaling setting intentions and even sleep.

Now let’s look at the energy takers: overthinking, screens & social media, clutter, dehydration, an inconsistent sleep pattern, possibly certain foods & alcohol dependency, people pleasing, setting unrealistic goals, unclear & sloppy boundaries, negativity, and going-going-going without rest.

Looking at the two lists, some issues especially when it comes to the energy takers may not be in our control especially when it comes to inconsistent sleep. My pattern might be the same as far as what time I like to go to bed, but the quality of sleep is not always there for me depending on the pain level I experience at that given time. But most of those things listed are powerful and simple things we all can implement more or less thereof. So here we go, let’s pick our poison and miracle drug. It doesn’t always have to be complicated and sometimes it’s just that simple.

Posted in Choices, Life, Mom

Contact has been established – let’s do this together

I’ve been sitting a lot in the company of spirit lately. Although not physically here, Mom continues to come around and she makes it known that she is here with the flicker of a light or other shenanigans like it. Her favorite seems at night when I go to bed and set the phone onto the iHome docking station. The light goes off and I tuck myself in. Most nights, without a touch, the phone turns back on and lights up for a few moments despite the do not disturb setting in effect. It’s as if she is telling me goodnight and letting me know that she is here. We have taken several final walks together and this is another one that I need to do in her spiritual presence. I need her to understand, to accept and to forgive me.

I’ve been calling to her a lot lately and I think she knows that I need her. I can only hope that she can validate my decision to sell her house, and that she understands the reasons behind it. I know she always wanted me to take over the house, to come home and to uphold all the hard work she put in place over all the years. I am in no way and form physically or mentally capable to uphold what used to be her dream. Being truthful with myself, I know it is not my dream, which still doesn’t make this coming to terms thing any easier.

A “for sale” sign has been placed into the window and I got to text with one of the parties that has toured the house twice and committed to buying it. A direct contact has been established and I couldn’t be more grateful about where the house will end up. Hopefully once all the details are cleared. So far we have agreed on the sell price and a lot of understanding and sensitivity has been placed around travel and what I have to do to clear the house. It was even offered to be sent remodel pictures so I can see the progress. The offer was very sweet but will be one of those bittersweet moments. However, the curious and the will to know is greater than the fear of going down memory lane. I think it will provide some peace for me at some point, although I will always remember that it should have been me doing this, and that it is how Mom envisioned it. I hope I can let go of the disappointment she must have felt about me, of the feeling of being let down. I hope that Mom will recognize all the loving work and dedication that is going into the house she loved so much even if it’s not coming directly from me.

My covid booster shot (yeah, don’t remind me) is due or available I should say on March 9th. I think it will be essential to take care of this before I go. Not to prevent anything as we all know it doesn’t, but for the sake of politics. I am afraid that the rules will change once more and I might face trouble coming back if I’m not fully vaccinated and boosted. So better safe than sorry, at least in that respect. Plus I am hoping it is literally giving me a boost like it did the last time. I don’t know if I could dare to believe it was a coincidence (yeah, we know I don’t believe in those) that after the first dose the RA improved. After the second shot I even hiked the Wave. Almost unimaginable right now as this temporary high has worn off. But if I get another after the booster, it will come in perfect timing.

I am planning to give myself until the end of May to get everything done. That is if the buyer will allow me this much time, which I hope for and need. And for at least that time, the blog will fall silent and I won’t be able to write. The occasional wifi connection might allow me here and there to stop by, but my time needs to be committed elsewhere. I know you understand and I already here you telling me to take all the time I need. I will write and pin a final post before I go and finally get this contact page done in case you need or want to make contact with me. Until then, I’ll keep you posted as I hang onto my seat. Life is changing rapidly.

Posted in Authenticity, Choices, Life

Who am I, you ask?

Who am I? Has someone ever asked you who you are? Have you ever questioned yourself about who you are? And how would you answer that question?

Who we are goes far beyond our given name, what would our name symbolize anyways! Our name is merely something we answer to when called. It doesn’t represent personal traits, character or even describes us. What describes us and gives us glimpses to who we are is the way we react and behave to things. It’s our day to day experiences with life, other people and the world. It’s beyond who our parents were and where we were born. Answering such a question requires some soul searching and looks easier than it actually is. Go ahead and just give it a try and you’ll probably find yourself stuttering and stalling at first. In all honesty, this might be a question to which it’s answer is ever evolving and changing. If I was to describe who I am, it would be a snapshot of that current moment. It would highlight characteristics about myself but would that explain who I am? Would that give a clear picture? Could we ever put the complexity of who we are into a complete picture of us? I don’t think we could. Most likely we would miss things, or couldn’t truly convey something that gives a concise image to who we are. It’s beyond comprehension.

Who I am is a result of all the people I have encountered and all the things that I have experienced. Good and bad. Up to that particular time, and perhaps in a month from now this description might not fit anymore or is only partially truthful. Who we are is forged from our experiences, the laughters shared with friends, the teachings and arguments from our parents, our first love, our first hurts and the many disappointments that will follow throughout life. It’s from wild childlike play with childish abandonment and crying alone in the shower. It’s stitched together from warm chatter and the smile of a stranger. It’s a result of our darkest moments, cracked and broken hearts, hurtful feelings, moments that touch our hearts, euphoria, achieving a state of nirvana and bitter words with countless fights. Who we are is in between the lines of poetry, in the lyrics of a song when we can’t convey our emotions. Who we are is made up of all our experiences, of all these people we’ve encountered and each and every moment we’ve lived.

This is who I am and you see there is no simple explanation or answer to that question. I am unique and there is no one like me, just like there is no one like you. We share experiences and moments and who we are during those moments is a testament of how far we have come and who we choose to be. Who we truly are does not depend on others but on our own acceptance. Our own critique, our willingness to forgive ourselves and our commitment to meet ourselves with unconditional love and understanding. At the core of everything, perfectly imperfect with all of your flaws and shortcomings…who are you in that very moment? Perhaps it is then, during that rough sea that we learn more about ourselves as in calm waters. A calm sea has never made a skilled sailor.

Posted in Choices, Inspiration, Life

How full is your cup?

It was one of my blog followers that has inspired this post. In a comment to one of my other posts he shared the story of the wise Zen master with me. It reached me at the most divine timing. I knew the story already, but being reminded of it in “that” moment was exactly what I needed. Once again it was wisdom already received, but tucked away somewhere and not accessed by myself until I was reminded. Strangely how that happens more times than none. Thank you John.

I had written about my new outlook and about viewing an empty Glass. As an optimist my belief was always around seeing a glass as half full, a positive view compared to seeing it as half empty which could indicate negativity. Perhaps seeing an empty glass would be equivalent to signaling the end, with nothing left to go for. Perhaps it’s just another outdated program and a belief I picked up somewhere along the line. Pieces like these keep coming forward and they make me question most everything these days. They challenge me to see things with a new and refreshed look, making way to new possibilities, considerations and beliefs. It is as if I am receiving an upgrade to my self, my being, ready for the next phase. I arrive at the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with an half empty glass as there is room for more to be filled into it. An empty glass signifies an even greater opportunity, an empty sleigh, a new beginning, a shedding and purging of the old to make room for the new. The only problem I really see now is with a full glass and you will understand why as soon as I share the story of the Zen master with you. Sometimes when we have the most, when we have gathered all the knowledge, all the learnings, all the wisdom, but when we forget how to use it properly and the ego is fed in the worst way, we actually end up in the worst shape, suffocating ourselves at too much bliss and closing ourselves off from all the beauty that still awaits.

For some reason I was dividing people this morning into the ones that are book smart and the ones that are street smart. To me the full cup represents the people that know it all already and who have nothing to learn. They create their own reality and perception, as well as their own truth and beliefs. It becomes their guiding system with little consideration for new insights and they usually don’t sway much from it. Is it a choice they made to be this way, has life made them this way, are they perhaps close minded, stubborn, mean, or are they secretively insecure, vulnerable, afraid, protecting their wounds with a strong image and front? Their cup is full, overflowing, with no room for anything else. Some of the people I have met had degrees and are very book smart. They are educated and they know what they want. Sometimes to the point of any cost and downright ruthless, manipulating and narcissistic. And sometimes they will overpower you with their smarts because there is an answer for everything already and they already know, regardless of what you have to say. They are beyond the listening point, not really hearing you anymore. Some struggle to find common sense in the challenges of day to day life and regardless of their smarts, they become lost and isolated. Please forgive me for these opinions, I am not trying to generalize and I know there are exceptions. These are merely my experiences and what I encountered. What I see and what I pick up as an empath, regardless of the pain I have experienced because of that behavior.

And then we have the ones that deal with day to day life every day. Who might not be the smartest, who might have skipped school, never earning that degree, but who still have amounted to something worthwhile. Who have become experts to rolling with the punches, who are not exempt from the challenges and life itself, but who consistently catch the “Green lights,’ somehow making it work. I look at actors who have ditched their professional diploma and instead became a student of life, and a role model to society. Who have become motivational speakers sharing their wisdom about life and what it takes. Who became highly successful regardless of how they did in school. The ones that are life long students, not only marching to their own beat but to that of a higher meaning. So which one holds more worth I wonder, or is it even a matter of which one is valued more as each contributes in their own unique way. Again, I am speaking only for myself, about my preferences and who I would rather be. Don’t get me wrong, I think that an education is very important as it opens doors for careers and financial security. And yet how to be happy, content, and at peace, aligned with your highest self is not being taught in school. How do we earn that degree? From living life itself. We teach to strive, to be competitive, to work hard, to become ruthless, to be better than the other person. We don’t teach mindfulness and compassion, or what it takes to be content. Perhaps we are starting to incorporate some of these things, and while it is not enough yet, perhaps a start has been made. Perhaps there is a common middle ground, a great education but an open mind, and a willingness to learn the best of both worlds. To stay receptive and keep the ego humble. A hard task for sure but not impossible. Perhaps it starts with a choice. All kinds of things to ponder here and to consider. You can see how my mind could keep going, but now, finally, here is the story of the wise Zen master.

There lived a wise Zen master. People travelled from far away to seek his help. In return, he would teach them and show them the way to enlightenment.

One day, a scholar came to visit the master for advice. “I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen,” the scholar said.

Soon, it became obvious that the scholar was full of his own opinions and knowledge. He interrupted the master repeatedly with his own stories and failed to listen to what the master had to say. The master suggested that they have tea.

So the master poured his guest a cup. The cup was filled, yet he kept pouring until the cup overflowed onto the table, onto the floor, and finally onto the scholar’s robes. The scholar cried “Stop! The cup is full already. Can’t you see?”

“Exactly.” The Zen master replied. “You are like this cup – so full of ideas that nothing more will fit in. Come back to me with an empty cup.”