Posted in Life, Purpose driven

Understanding the greater meaning

The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.

“Ravindranath Tagore”

Posted in Adventure, Experience, Hiking, Human spirit, Inspiration, Mother nature, My story, Purpose driven

Days like these 

Today belongs to me and there are few things that could make it feel better than it already is. Officially the holiday stress and the annual inventory right after the beginning of the New Year has ended for me. I’m waiving it goodbye, without turning back to watch it disappear. Bye bye…I won’t miss you. I would like to say until next time, but I’m not so sure right now if there will be another and I’m leaning towards that I rather there won’t be another. Hard work with little time to do what truly matters is becoming such a waste of time to me these days and I have to do some prioritizing while there is still time. What made it even worse was that I got sick at the tail end with Vertigo that lasted a few weeks. Thank goodness it has passed for the most part and I feel that I might recover on my own without the need of physical therapy. Which is great news all in all, fingers crossed that I will continue to climb my uphill battle.After a blizzard like, scary, dark, slippery ride home from work last evening, I’m off for the next two days. It’s been storming non stop outside and Mother Nature has really pulled a few numbers since the beginning of this year. Record levels of snow have fallen already of which later turned to non stop rain, causing over 1300 homes being evacuated due to river flooding within the last two days. Today we are back to snow and over 20 feet of snow has fallen in parts of the Sierra since 2017 has made its debut. As if it wasn’t enough and it’s not over yet and predicted to last through Thursday, with 10 more feet of snow on the way today. 

I love stormy days like this when I’m tucked safely inside my castle (a Cancers home 😉) and have the day to do what I want. I went to sleep last night listening to the storm, knowing that I had nowhere to be while the wind and the rain was pounding against my window. Later on the rain was replaced by an eerie silence and the night sky was illuminated by heavy snowflakes falling from the heavens as the temperatures were dropping. 

Today there are no chores (well a tiny few must do’s), and deadlines are replaced with a little writing, painting, listening to music while lounging in my favorite onesie, watching a movie while sipping green tea and hot chocolate and maybe a bubble bath later on. Does it get any better than this? 

Everything has its time and place, but I also realize that I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge my yearning and excitement that has me looking forward to an adventure outside. It looks like I will be doing a lot of snowshoeing this year since most of my favorite parts will be covered in a deep snowpack for quiet some time. Perhaps a perfect time to visit the ocean and soak up some sun. I can hear the annual Monterey trip calling my name and I can see myself walking the beach, picking up seashells and other treasures along the way. “Holy rocks” from one of my favorite beaches, feathers and lobster claws included are amongst some of my favorites. Yeah I’m nerdy like that and it has always been the little things, (most of them are free) that have become my biggest treasures. All accompanied by great memories and tons of pictures to hold on to those very moments. Being allowed to experience those times is what makes it priceless to me and it doesn’t matter what it is or where I go, it is the journey of getting there and all it’s little moments that make it so special and memorable. We’ll see where the wind will take me and as I also have family in Vegas in February which could be a little escape and an awesome visit to connect. 

Living on the California border has its advantages and offers a quick escape to milder climates, as well as snow free hiking. I’m not worried about not getting outside, but I am anxious for that first trip, taking that deeeep, deeeep breath of gratitude, that sigh of relief while feeling everything inside restored as the stresses melt away by allowing Mother Nature to fix it all. 

The only thing better that can top this is….to share it with special people if you can. People that understand and feel the same way without any words ever needing to be exchanged. 

They say a picture says a thousand words and I would agree. But I would like to add to it by saying….

It only takes one moment and one look, exchanged in silence that speaks louder than words and says it all. 

Posted in Emotions, Experience, Feelings, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, Mother nature, Motivation,, My story, Purpose driven, Self help, Spiritual awakening, Wisdom

Spiritual awakening – Stage 5 

This stage had a big calling for me and it was said to be the stage of developing your spiritual gifts. The beginning of seeking a deeper connection with the source as you continue to tap into new learnings and miracles that are unfolding right before your eyes. Even though stage 5 is your main stage at this point, it is not uncommon to experience previous learnings and stages at the same time. You are just further in the process with more things making sense and coming full circle. But more about this later which is better described in stage 6.
Typical events experienced during this stage include:
Meditating – I believe meditation comes in many different forms. Most people might envision a person sitting on the ground, legs crossed in front of them with their eyes closed. To me, meditation was everything that calmed my soul and gave me peace of mind. It was something that I found in doing the things I loved whether it was doing art, listening to music or in my voracious reading attempts. It was fuel for my soul, but the most peaceful feeling I experienced out of all, was when I was in nature and felt as if I had returned home. And while I experienced joy in all activities, it was always nature that evoked that deep breath and a deep sigh of renewal. As if I was reborn and had acquired the strength to continue in real life and reality. 
It tied in with the experience of other mindful activities that were described which could also include yoga and Qigong. 
Creating was another, including painting, writing, singing etc. This one was huge for me as well with some activities spanning over several years. The paintings started after Sparky’s death and a talent or passion for such had prior been undiscovered. So did the writing and it was just recently that I had been inspired to pursue my passion of becoming a storyteller, a healer, somebody to share their own experiences in the hopes of benefitting others. I wrote a few times before but never at the level I am doing now and this blog is still in its infant stages. 
Other example events were studying healing modalities such Reiki. Honing your intuition by doing your own angel card readings. Strengthening your relationship with your spiritual guides and wanting to heal the world. 
Big daunting tasks that might seem overwhelming and you might ask yourself “Me, little ole me….heal the world”?. How exactly am I going to do that? I sure spend some time thinking about it and I have come to the conclusion that all I can ever do, is to do my part. To find my place and hopefully inspire a few along the way. I’m one, standing against the many who are still asleep, but I’m not alone and everybody has the potential to make a difference and contribute in their own way. Asleep or awake, we each have to find our own path and together we become the many that impact our daily life’s. 
Typical emotions expressed during this stage are said to be joy and eagerness, feeling the reconnection with yourself through your higher source. Finding your purpose and what you were meant to do, wanting to share your gift with others. It was a time things began to make more sense as it left me at a better vantage point to explain the emotions and experiences that I was living through. Intuitions materialized and premonitions became true. In many ways I felt as if I had become my own healer. I was on to improving my health and to live a healthier life style. Be more aware of healing foods and strangely, here too, it was that I searched the all knowing web and felt many times as if I had read these articles before. Or maybe I was doing something already without ever reading it. Being guided as if an inner voice was steering me. It was strange and it was something I couldn’t explain at the time. And then Pinterest came to my aid once more and I came across the mentioning of being an “Old soul” and a whole new roam to explore. 

Posted in Art, Buddhism, Experience, Feelings, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, music, My story, Purpose driven, Self help, Spiritual awakening, Wisdom

Tired….so tired.

Ughhhh….I’m tired and if I wasn’t already, I definitely feel the holiday stresses catching up. More and more I find myself just vegetating away after work in the little time that seems to be left, playing a game on the iPad to relax and just “Be”. A game that requires no concentration while drowning out all noise as I play it in silent mode. The rest is filled with reading (my main read has been mailed off to be autographed and I’m waiting patiently for its return), when I’m not writing or another creative outlet to allow my mind to dangle carefree with not a single thought in mind. I had every intention to write this morning but my mind seems to be a bit foggy as it is resting up for another day of retail madness hahaha. I find myself sliding more and more towards the majority of people asking “Is it over yet?” and it truly makes me sad. It takes away from the true meaning of a time that should be filled with magic and wonder. I’m sure many people feel like this as the stresses mount and I hope you find time to pause and do something that allows your soul to marvel. Heck, I hope I do so myself. I feel like I’m sleeping my life away right now as I try to rest enough to stay healthy and make it through another day.
Another favorite outlet is music and art for me, which I often combine. Listening to music while creating something that is one of a kind is very soothing and feeds my ever growing need to create. It actually ties into one of the stages of spiritual awakening which will be the next chapter I write.

My paintings are fed by intuition and the events that happen in my life. Therefore they often become very personal to me as they remind me and resemble a certain time of my life. 

Here is an unfinished painting I started awhile back before I first stumbled across the article about spiritual awakening. It’s a bit creepy and you can see the similarities in my painting and the picture of the article, even though I had never seen it before. The Rays coming from the head, perhaps energy fields, waking up…..I’m not sure how my mind painted something I had never seen, something I would stumble across at a later time. You can imagine my astonishment and surprise as I saw the article. It looked strangely familiar, but I couldn’t place it at first until I saw my unfinished painting sitting in the corner, resembling those same lines emitting from the person. ??????

Creepy? What do you think….? Was my mind and subconscious trying to show me something? Divine intervention perhaps? A nudge from the divine universe?

The picture from the article I read…..

My unfinished painting….notice the lines and eyes closed in both pictures as if taking in a greater meaning, awareness, a spiritual awakening of the mind.

Posted in Buddhism, Emotions, Experience, Feelings, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, Motivation,, My story, Purpose driven, Self help, Spiritual awakening, Wisdom

Spiritual awakening – Stage 4

Stage 4 in my journey was “Seeking to understand” and I definitely knew something had changed within. I was on to something, I just didn’t know what. Life felt enriched in many ways and yet I couldn’t put my finger on it to explain how so. Besides, there was also confusion when hunches materialized. It felt as if I had experienced something before, and yet I knew all too well that I had never been in those situations before. My perception had shifted and I felt more aware of everything around me. I had questions, but more so I felt strangely at ease and contend with how life was progressing.Stage 4 was described as seeing magic in the mundane and I remember straightening the sales floor one evening, preparing the store for the next shopping day. Not exactly a job that required a lot of brains and it was definitively different from what I was used to while running my own store. It was a non challenging task, a part of my job that could feel downright boring and mundane. There was nothing liberating about completing this task, it was simply just work, a means to pass the time, making a living and it was lacking a feeling of accomplishment. The job got done, but it held little significance to me, even though it was a task that couldn’t be compromised and had to be completed. Something happened that particular night and I remembered the movie “Night at the museum” with Ben Stiller guarding all the treasures inside the museum. Strangely I identified with this role as if it was up to me, the closing manager, to return all the toys to their rightful spot since they had gotten lost throughout the day. And just like that there was “Magic in the mundane”. A make believe fairytale, a land far away with all the toys coming to life long after everybody was gone. Of course that wouldn’t happen in reality but magic is reality to the one who believes and sees magic all around. And if not so then it was definitely the beginning of me going crazy haha. 
Some typical event of this stage to be experienced were: 
The thirst for spiritual knowledge – I found myself spending less time on social media, especially Facebook. Pinterest continued to be my best friend, flashing new pins at me that corresponded and tied in with prior saved ones, promoting my thirsting knowledge to grow even more.
Voracious reading – was an active part in my discovery and I realized that the stages I had experienced so far where much more than a phase. It wasn’t something that I completed and had moved on from, but it was something that was here to stay and to be experienced over and over. Something to add to my repertoire that enriched my soul and was here to stay with me forever. 

New books were flooding my home in the quest to learn more, seeking to understand. They were books connected to the soul, self help, the words of others who had experienced what I was going through and even a book talking about conversations with God. It was also a time I stumbled across Buddhism and Hinduism which I related to in many ways and felt connected.
It was a time said that you might seek like minded individual to share your findings – I was still a bit reluctant to share my experiences, in part due to not fully understanding them myself. I knew that it was during this phase that it must have felt to friends and family as if I had vanished off the planet. I didn’t keep up with connections as much as I should have been, or should I had? In prior times, everybody always came before me. It wasn’t that I became selfish overnight, but I was going through something, something I couldn’t explain just yet. I was on a journey to either find myself or return back home to myself and to who I was meant to be. I had felt lost for a long time and it was time to take care of myself for once. How was I going to explain that to anybody? I knew there was no way that I could have articulated that one, nevertheless trying to share it with somebody in the hopes that they could relate and understand what I was talking about. 
It was also mentioned that you might seek physic readings or attend a workshop. Although intriguing, I never did. Yet, that was and I say “Never say never”. As of now there are no plans to do so, but if one crosses my path at the right time, I can see it to be very possible that I will indulge. 
Another event could be traveling to sacred places such as Sedona, Stonehenge or Machu Picchu. My experience with such will require a separate post as there is so much to be said. 
And last but not least was seeking your true purpose. Something that could be experienced through really any stage. It’s another big one, one that makes me wonder how you might feel about this and if you have ever wondered about your purpose here on earth? Is there something that we are meant to do, and how do we know if and when we are doing it? For me it was and continues to be something that is connected to my core, my soul, something I feel deep inside. Something that is hard to explain but what is filled with the gratitude of being allowed to make a difference, or at least trying to do so and being able to see the bigger picture through increased intuition. The effort and desire to give it my best shot. It’s something that bestows the gift of awareness, letting me take it all in without taking anything for granted and finding joy in the simple things of life. The little things that often become the big things in life. Finding magic in the mundane and the strength to pursue and change my stars as I see them fit. It’s something that gives me the patience to endure by knowing that everything is how it is meant to be, even though there are big changes ahead in my immediate future. So the statement of “Hang in there” or “Everything will be ok” is out of place here and everything is already the way it is meant to be. If it has not progressed further, it is merely because another lesson needs to be learned to make the victory even sweeter. 
Typical emotions experienced during this phase are joy and exhilaration. I didn’t know how to articulate what had changed but I was happy that it did and I marveled in the feeling of bliss. Life had just become a little easier, maybe even a bit more enjoyable and the mundane tasks weren’t all that bad after all. 

There was also said to be impatience, a feeling that was described as not being able to learn fast enough. I was hungry and I had a yearning for knowledge, that was for sure. Sometimes it caused me to dabble in multiple books at the same time, but I wouldn’t label it as impatience. 
Xoxoxo ❤️

Posted in Emotions, Experience, Feelings, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, Motivation,, My story, Purpose driven, Self help, Spiritual awakening, Wisdom

Spiritual awakening – Stage 3 

Stage 3 in the process of spiritual awakening is “The journey of discovery”. It was and continues to be by far one of the biggest stages for me. As I continue to write about my journey, I know will link back to is post when I write about the various examples I was lucky to experience. It would become an endless post at this point and I think you will relate to it better in shorter bits of information. It reminds me a little of the phrase that you are never done with your learning in life. It’s ongoing and new events are added as your field of awareness expands and new information streams in. You simply experience different levels of being awake as your life unfolds in front of you. Your curiosity grows and you can no longer deny or dismiss what is going on, even though you are not quiet sure of what it is you are experiencing.
Some events experienced during this stage could include synchronicities, otherwise called coincidences of a divine source that is knocking on your door. Depending on the stage of your awakening, you might dismiss these signs as mere coincidences or you become more aware of these divine nudges that can vary in intensity. They often manifest in unique ways we can’t explain but which leave us astonished and surprised. It may even be the beginning of believing in the magic of it all. It was for me and it was also the beginning of my surrender.
Synchronicities or coincidences can include:

Have you ever come across a quote at the perfect time?

Has somebody entered your life at a specific time to enrich it and fuel your purpose? You may not know it at the time and you might not understand the connection you feel for that person, but people enter your life for a reason and nothing is a coincidence or accident. It’s divine intervention at its best.

Have you ever run into somebody you know unexpected, maybe in the least unlikeliest of places?

Has somebody called you out of the blue or you reconnected with somebody after many years?
Take a moment and pause, listen to what is being said and figure out what it is you are suppose to learn.
Coincidence or divine nudges? I have read that when you experience these synchronicities, it is the inner workings of your soul showing up in your outside physical world.

Hocus – Pokus you might think, but the more you listen and believe in the events of this divine source, the more likely it is that they will multiple in your life. You see, I believe that life if trying to show us miracles at all times, but it is up to us to simply notice and even more so – act upon them.
You might also experience premonitions and hunches coming true.

Prophetic dreams and visions can be another sign where you see and hear things others don’t.
I don’t remember prophetic dreams and visions as I seldom remember my dreams, but all other signs were experienced in varying degrees. I often had hunches as if I had experienced something before, even though I never had. There was a strange sense of familiarity, and it was that very feeling that helped me remain calm, trusting the universe to guide me. I had tons of coincidences which still happen today and today I am a believer. These synchronicities tie into my previous posts called the “Journey of my warrior” and “A series of non-coincidental events” which now make perfect sense.
Emotions experienced during this stage were said to be:
Thrills and chills: An uneasy or uncomfortable feeling each time you connected with the spirit realm. I didn’t experienced this too much and I think it was due to being in a surrendering mode, a process of being guided vs, resisting what was happening. As previously mentioned it wasn’t necessarily something I understood at the time as it required “The journey of discovery”.

Isolation: Not knowing where to turn and feeling uncomfortable sharing your experiences with friends and family. I kept mainly to myself before I gained enough knowledge and understanding to share it.
It remains to be a topic that can make others uncomfortable, perhaps it comes across as foreign, something that is hard to relate to and has to be experienced and gain some insight from the outside. Timing is everything, and it is crucial with so many things in life. This was no different. Summarizing this stage I would say that you have to be ready and it can’t be forced. There is not much you can do besides being in control of your mindset. The experiences of your life shape your path of when and how you wake up, but it is you who is in control of choosing your frame of mind. Whether you chose to be a optimist or a pessimist? Whether you struggle or surrender? Whether you let life enrich you or be defined?

You decide as it is your life to live. The choice is personal and determined by your own personal path. It doesn’t have to fit others and fit in with their choices. Your life is as unique to you as you are unique amongst millions, so don’t be afraid of fitting in.

Because…..In the end, one thing is for certain and that is that nobody can live your life but YOU? ❤️

Posted in Buddhism, Emotions, Experience, Feelings, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, Motivation,, My story, Purpose driven, Self help

Spiritual awakening – Stage 2

The second stage was described as “A shift in perception”. The beginning of seeing things differently which would ultimately alter the perception of your life. This could include:

  • Questioning the Status Quo
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Relationship issues
  • Longing for a soulmate
  • Desire to move / change of scenery

The typical emotions felt during this stage were discomfort. A feeling that your life no longer fits you. Once again I was relating to the words somebody else had written and felt as if so, they were written exclusively for me. There was no doubt that I had begun to question the Status Quo of everything. I no longer felt my achievements to be fitting and my questions often involved something like “Is this it” and “Is this what it’s all about”. It couldn’t have been and there had to be more to life was always the outcome of those thoughts. Without a doubt something had awakened and I had questions galore. I refused to settle into something that my heart wasn’t sold on and so the The quest for more  began.

I look back to this stage as the beginning of my observation period. Not only did it ring true for me and my own behaviors, but I also found truth in the ones of which I found the majority of others conforming in. I often wondered if people were experiencing similar issues and I questioned why so many seemed to settle into going with the flow. I’m curios if this presents an easier path, but personally I see it as a path that would require me to stray from who I am. It was something I wasn’t willing to compromise any longer. I was on a journey of finding myself instead of losing myself. I had strayed for too long and a change was upon me. I know that we all have to decide for ourselves and there is no right or wrong whether you go with the flow or swim upstream. I thought of my own choice and knew that I was going against the flow and the values/beliefs that I had grown up with. They were still important, but also resembled the values and beliefs of somebody else and it was time to find my own truths. Time to polish my own individuality as the transformation had begun. I had no clue of this at the time and reiterate again that those “A-Ha” moments all happened in hindsight.

Further my job was no longer a fit. Despite the success I had achieved being a foreigner in my second home country, it also came with a huge price tag. A sacrifice I no longer was willing to pay. I needed a change of scenery. I knew that I had achieved everything I set out to do and once more it was while pursuing the values and beliefs of others which weren’t necessarily my own. The “Stuff” I had worked so hard for, was something I was still grateful for and I felt that I had put blood, sweat and tears into it, but it was also stuff that was burdening me down with responsibilities and obligations. Another first and the beginning of my realization that “Less is more”.

I won’t even talk about the relationship issues which I had questioned for quiet some time and which had spanned over a decade. Everything was contributing to this stage and my shift in perception. I was no longer willing to continue in the same fashion and accept the things I struggled with as a normal part of life. This was not going to be a permanent part, a part that was here to stay and I knew that one day I would look back at it as a phase in the transformation of becoming the best version of myself.

It was said that the typical emotions during this stage were discomfort and the feeling that your life was no longer a fit. Confusion and a lack of understanding was a normal emotion to be experienced during this stage and so it was for me. I knew something was different and I knew something had shifted. I just didn’t know what, when it happened and why it happened. Was I going through midlife crisis? The thought did cross my mind a few times but only led to more analysis and questions which is an entirely different post. I remember this stage holding little discomfort for me. Yes, there was confusion but I wasn’t resisting with what seemed to unfold in front of me. It was as if I had already surrendered to the process. I think it was an important step in my journey instead of fighting it all. Sometimes you just have to step back and let life unfold without interfering. You have to remain a “Warrior instead of becoming a Worrier” and trust that everything will be ok. This was one of those times. Somehow I managed to do this without being aware of doing anything different and special. I can only credit it to not fighting the universe that was guiding me at the time and I guess in that sense I did go with the flow.

I didn’t have all the answers, nor do I have them today. I didn’t know what was happening or how to understand it, but somehow I didn’t need to. Soon I would find the article that explained everything and which would confirm that I wasn’t going crazy just yet.

Most  of all I wasn’t alone and others knew exactly what it was that I was experiencing.

This little video reminds me of this stage…the transformation period of becoming the best version of yourself and most of all the quest in challenging the “Status Quo”. It’s a reminder that everything is possible and that you should be in no competition other than yourself. I hope you enjoy….

Posted in Buddhism, Emotions, Experience, Feelings, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, Loss, My story, Photography, Purpose driven, Self help, Spirit animals, Spiritual awakening

Spiritual awakening – Stage 1


“The transformation begins”

As I mentioned before it was Pinterest that steered me into the direction of spiritual awakening. You might wonder what exactly it means to be spiritually aware, awake and enlightened. Don’t you walk around with your eyes wide open every day and if so well then you are definitely not asleep, right? What could be missing? I had the same questions and it remains something that is somewhat difficult to answer. I think that the timing has to be right for you to believe and to see the signs the universe is throwing you. I like to say it’s made more of the things that you just feel, a instinct, a gut feeling, maybe a hunch. And even when you do feel it, you won’t know what it is, which stage you are going through, let alone that you realize that you are going through a stage or a phase. None will make any sense as it is new information and you are learning it for the very first time. Perhaps it’s a discontent you have felt, something you want to change in your life, maybe you have questions that have gone unanswered, until now. To say the least my curiosity was sparked as I first embarked on the first message and my hunger grew to learn more about this mysterious subject. I kept most of it to myself and shared very little of what I was exploring. How could I explain it to others if I couldn’t even explain it to myself. Many times I thought people would for sure think that I had gone crazy, not that I really cared all that much about what others thought of me. I had learned a long time ago that people will always have an opinion one way or another, whether you do something or not and even if you do it perfectly. Sometimes you merely get caught in the crossfire and have to accept things how they are. If you can, you will feel less burdened and may even be healthier and happier for sure.

One article exclaimed that there were 7 stages to spiritual awakening and that a person could go through any given step at any given time without any particular order. The process is different for everybody as we all awaken in our own way, so this is really where the tricky part comes in as there is not a one fits all process. From person to person we interpret and feel things in a different way and it was said that some people may even skip a few stages where others yet repeat a few stages to solidify the lesson until it is learned.

I still think that the first stage is vital and sets the course for all the other stages to follow while it remains unclear to me if the first stage could ever be skipped.
Stage 1 The Catalyst
The Catalyst is described as a life change, a paradigm shifting event that shakes and jolts you awake. Some people may need several of these catalysts which are said to be gentler after the first strong jolt. They weren’t in my case but I did require quiet a few to finally wake me up. I think the first big one was my fathers death, but I was only ten years old. And while I knew back then that life would never be the same again, I understand now that I couldn’t have had many plans and experiences at such a tender age that would have wanted me to completely change my life around! I simply was too young to understand, I didn’t know, but I still believe it was a vital event that shaped my life and my future that was to come.

The miscarriages were catalysts further forging my path. And there were a few others of which I am not sure if I could ever sort them into a gentler category. Being torn between two countries, being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis which almost left me crippled for awhile in excruciating pain and the fear that it would rob me of my life, a failed marriage and the estranged mother / daughter relationship that had brought me much guilt over the years. Maybe I had learned to live with most of those things, maybe I had accepted them over time and they were no longer catalysts at all. I don’t know for sure but I believe that everything that happens in our lives is here to guide us onto the path we were meant to take. So ultimately I have to believe that these things are a part of my journey.

The next jolt came as Sparky did not make it home after a vet visit and the aftershock of having to say goodbye. The final catalyst came 2 1/2 years ago as Nikki crossed the Rainbow bridge. I never recovered from that one and it shook me to my core. There was no way I could sleep through that one and it was then that I found myself in the early stage of waking up. Nobody ever said that it was suppose to be beautiful and it was better be explained as very painful, life altering, a life changing event, a shift, catalyst and jolt that was character building but not to be ignored.
Some example events / jolts can include:
A near death experience,

Loss of any kind,

A life threatening illness,

Depression,

But also meeting your soulmate
Further it was suggested that spirit visitations could also be a part of it. This last one truly made me pause and think. It wasn’t that I had experienced any ghosts, aliens or other spirit visits, but how did I know and how could I make such a statement! How exactly did a spirit look like, would it take on a human form to sit here and chill with me, having a conversation as if it was the most natural of things? I was thinking back to the Spirit Animals that I had encountered, the sightings and the incidents in nature that remained mostly unexplained. Could it have been?
The summary of the emotions experienced during this first stage were:
Fear,

Shock,

Disbelief,

Not understanding what was going on,

Awe,

And the difficulty grasping that it happened to begin with.
I definitely could relate and without a doubt I knew that I had experienced stage 1 in the process of spiritual awakening. I’m still curious and wonder how many others experience similar instances. For myself, many questions were answered and the article even though it was read in hindsight and might have not guided me at the time, it still shed a lot of light. It brought explanations and clarity to me during a time I felt alone and confused with the feelings I couldn’t articulate and share with others. I look back to these painful catalysts and I have learned to embrace them. I don’t hold any bitterness as these painful thresholds are nothing more than a push towards a life that is enriched and lived to the fullest. A life with my eyes wide open and my senses heightened to take in all of what truly matters, in all of it’s glory and all of it’s beauty.

How could I ever be bitter about that?

Posted in Emotions, Experience, Health, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Loss, Motivation,, My story, Purpose driven, Self help, Wisdom

Thank you Tooth – Fairy 

Dear Tooth – Fairy (my dentist)
There used to be a time you brought me money when you took my teeth. And just like that everything is different and the times have changed. You still take my teeth but today I pay you to do so 😉. I mean this in the most fun and harmless way possible as no amount of money could buy the kindness you have bestowed upon me. What you have given me is simply priceless and involves the human touch. 

You see it is much more to me then just finding an outstanding dentist such as yourself who is loved by her staff and clients alike. I don’t need a testament from anybody, I just sense it in the atmosphere and the vibes when I’m around you. I have always said that my strong intuition can be a blessing or a curse as it often reveals a look beyond and I see things hidden from many others. It’s not always pretty and it is often filled with ulterior motives that are self centered, even inconsiderate. Coming across you has been a true blessing and without you ever saying a word, I know why you do what you do. Working in the service industry, impacting and affecting people every day, I want you to know what a difference you make. You have for me, in a huge way. And I know that this is what it’s all about, amongst other things, but this has to be one of the most fulfilling and satisfying reasons I bet. The reasons you can go home after a day of work and feel like you made the world a better place by bestowing your grace upon some lucky souls, your team and patients. 

Bad experiences had kept me away from the dentist, but coming to your office three weeks ago, I couldn’t have known that I was well on my way of overcoming all of my fears. From the moment I stepped foot through your door, I felt so much more than just a new patient. Everybody was so warm and kind and Ashley had the biggest smile once I introduced myself and she handed me the new patient documents to fill out. She would also sneak me into a cancelled appointment the following week and was sensitive to my needs, time and desire to get this done. Later I was kicking back in your lounger (which I previously always considered as the torture chair) simply knowing that everything would be ok. I didn’t want a magazine or anything while I was waiting, I simply wanted to soak up the feeling and enjoy the peace I found myself in. There was a comforting calm settling over me, as if somebody had wrapped me in a warm blanket, a feeling I took in the best way possible. And then I met Elvia which was more like meeting a friend instead of being a patient. I trusted her from the first moment and knew that I was in good hands with her. I immediately connected and she is such a wonderful person, a true gem I’m sure you are very lucky and grateful to have. Elvia remains a vital part of my visits but has grown in my heart as a friend and a person I’m lucky to have had the opportunity of meeting. Elvia reminds me of how good it is to give and I would go to great lengths to make her day in any way possible. 

And then I got to meet you and you sat on your little rolling chair right next me. What I first noticed was the kindness in your eyes, your desire to help, to make things better for me, to do the best to your ability and to be a part in making my smile even bigger and brighter. Yep, I got all of that before we even spoke and once you did, it only confirmed what I already knew about you and your kind heart. If was refreshing to see all of the care you had for me and I have to admit that people such as yourself are very rare. Today’s society seldom gives you the time of day and we often lack the compassion and love for our fellow humans. Feelings and emotions are replaced by selfishness, envy, jealousy and greed. Instead of pulling together we become competition and enemies, caught in a constant race against each other. I felt none of that sitting in your chair, but what I did feel was as if an angel was sitting right next to me to restore my faith in humanity once more. YOU. And you did it in such a big way and not so subtle at all. You touched my heart in ways you might not even be aware of and I could never thank you enough. We had touching moments on all of my three visits. During two we were close to tears, but in a good way as they were tears of joy and sincere emotions. It is now that I find myself once again, close to tears as I am writing this. Also in a good way, because it has so much meaning and I know we might cry once more reading this. 

I experienced loss at a very young age as I lost my Dad and I’m sure it is a big reason as to why I feel so strongly about sharing my feelings. I may do so verbally or physically such as baking a cheesecake for you or doing something else I might think could make your day. And you truly made my day today by accepting the cheesecake and being so excited and appreciative about it. I loved doing it and I don’t do it because I have to but because you have made a difference for me. It’s a very small token of gratitude that I can repay you by making you smile and say cheeesssee….eeeee….cake. If you are lucky enough to meet an angel who changes your life and outlook, if you care and love somebody, if you are grateful for something they did for you, then I say that you need to take the time to acknowledge it and let them know. And so it is that I feel a simple “Thank you” will never be enough to express all of my gratitude for you and your wonderful staff, I hope that this intimate post will give you much more insight of what you have done for me. Thanks to you and your team I no longer fear the dentist and actually think that I might have withdrawals if I don’t see all of you on a weekly basis 😉. It was a thought that crossed my mind today leaving your office knowing that my next appointment won’t be until the 21st. Strange….I know, but in a good way. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Dr. Owens and team. You are the most amazing Tooth – Fairy ever and I’m truly, truly blessed by you.

Posted in Adventure, Animals, Death, Emotions, Experience, Feelings, Hiking, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, Loss, Mother nature, Motivation,, My story, Pets, Photography, Purpose driven, Self help, Spiritual awakening, Wisdom

The heart of a lion

Nikki came into my life as she was nearly two years old and I feel extremely blessed that I could rescue her from her abusive owners. I didn’t know at the time that she would equally play a huge part in my life, ultimately rescuing me as much as I rescued her. I was unaware that she was coming from a violent home and all I knew about was the apartment situation that would lead to the separation from her prior owners. Soon enough, the same day, her dramatic past began to unravel and I got a glimpse into some of the struggles this poor little baby had endure. From being chained and staked in the backyard, to a prior broken leg from abuse, her fear of water from almost drowning at the hands of her owners, her food aggression and her fear for humans. I won’t go into too many details to relive this horror, which I mostly found out through her behavior or through the jokes of her previous owners. Needless to say it was also the last time that they ever got to see Nikki. I always felt very lucky to have been the one able to turn her little precious life around and give her a reason to live. Besides having the heart of a lion which I will describe later, she also looked like a lion as I first saw her. A good brushing, which was yielding numerous brushes filled of hair later, (it would have made the softest pillow stuffing ever and I wish I would have kept it), she emerged as a different dog and looked nothing like the Chow Chow mix she was suppose to be. She looked like a Shiba Inu mix, a starved one that was reduced to nothing more than skin and bones after shedding the matted fur mess. She was visibly malnourished.

Her eating could hardly be described as eating. She was scarfing her food down in such a hurry, forgetting to chew, obviously being afraid that somebody would take it away. In return it caused her to choke and gasp for air. It was during that time that I considered learning the Heimlich maneuver, just in case. Reaching down to pet her, I was hoping to talk some comforting sense into her, but it only caused her to duck. She was afraid that the hand that was coming down would hit her, which I’m sure had happened too many times. Over the years I made a game out of it to take away her fear and associate the hand with a new meaning. Fun and playtime…”The claw”. It took years to rehabilitate her and years before she took herself not so seriously, finally allowing herself to play. It was then that the Shiba 500 (playful little outbursts of energy, running around like crazy while smiling from ear to ear….and yes I’m still talking about Nikki, she had the biggest smile I ever saw on a dog ) was born. It was an extraordinary day and I remember how happy I was as she dropped her fear and revealed her true nature. Her beautiful soul emerged and for the first time there was no fear in her eyes.

Nikki and I had a special bond, a bond words simply can’t describe. She literally was my fur baby and meant everything to me. She was my child and she lives on within my heart. I didn’t think that I could have loved her any more as I did, and despite that she couldn’t physically communicate with me, I understood everything she was trying to convey. Her gratefulness for saving her was obvious in all of her actions, all you had to do is look at her little face. I have always considered myself an animal lover, but it was Nikki who taught me to see more, to see the living soul mirrored in her eyes. I despised people referring to her as nothing more than an animal, a pet,  I simply couldn’t relate. She was so much more, she was a beautiful living soul, full of spunk and emotions.

After Sparky’s death her little heart was broken and our relationship became even closer. I was all that she had left and while Sparky was alive, I might have not believed that our bond could get any stronger. But it did. Nikki became a hiker at the age of 12 and I once heard that 1 dog year is equivalent to 7 human years. There is much controversy discussing this topic which includes the consideration of various breeds etc, but if there is truth to it, Nikki would have been 84 years old as she took up hiking. A true testament that it is never too late to start doing what you love. At the age of 84 she found a new passion (she probably always had it and I feel guilty of not introducing her to it earlier while coming up with various excuses of not being able to handle two dogs by myself, working so much back then and still now, to etc. etc.) a passion that would help her cope with the loss of her companion and soulmate, Sparky. 

Preparing for a hike was tricky and I had to be careful as the adrenaline and her sheer excitement of going for a hike would often lead to overexertion. In her senior years Nikki had developed arthritis and her own excitement and willpower often exceeded what her little body could handle. It was crazy how she would pick up on the tiniest of clues before a hike. She definitely knew the backpack and me grabbing it would result in the Shiba 500, running around like crazy, wiping out, hitting a slippery patch on the hardwood floor or leaping through the air almost knocking me over were all results if I wasn’t sneaky enough. All things her old little, aged body couldn’t put away so easily anymore. Her leash was no difference or putting on her harness, even the sound of the car could trigger the excitement, followed by what I can only express as that shit grinning, tongue out smile that appeared on her face in anticipation. She didn’t know her own strength and I often felt that it was sheer adrenaline and her willpower, the passion for what she loved and the heart of a lion full of courage that propelled her forward. Looking back, I realize that Nikki was one of my greatest teachers. I have no doubt that without any spoken words, she has taught me more than I ever learned from some who could speak. I might have rescued her from her abusive owners but in the end I’m not so sure of who ended up rescuing who. Let’s just call it even.

It’s been 2 1/2 years since Nikki has been gone and I’m not sure if I will ever get over her loss. I’m reluctant to say that I felt as if I lost a child. Despite two miscarriages I never experienced losing a child that lived with me for several years and I can’t truly compare it to make such a statement. Still it is the closest form that I can describe her loss and my life remains forever changed. People have encouraged me to get another dog and while I believe that a new dog could ease the pain and help me make new memories, I also know that nobody will ever take her place. It is the uncertainty and the changes that lie ahead that have prevented me from taking on the responsibility of getting a dog right now. Nikki will always have a special place in my heart and I held on to her as long as I could. Her wings were ready but it was my soul that wasn’t prepared to let her go for selfish reasons. In the end I had to do what any animal lover would have done to spare her additional pain and a life that had no future. And still, no day goes by that she isn’t on my mind. I wish she was here and the thought of being reunited with Sparky brings me only little comfort. I have to remind myself that her beautiful soul is with me forever, pain free to roam and play once more until we can meet again. In the meantime there is an empty hole within my heart as I have no choice but to roam without her.

Nikki has taught me that it is never too late. To pursue your passion as it is the rhythm of everything that matters in life. Do it with passion or don’t do it at all. If you have to do something you don’t like and the passion is lacking, change your stars and pursue what matters. Work towards your goals and take that first step no matter how tiny it is. Just do it anyways. Nikki has taught me to look beyond and recognize a soul within every living being. To drop its formal name of calling it an animal, but to see the spirit and the soul that lies within. Nikki showed me perseverance by pushing beyond  the pain as nothing in life is free. To be a warrior and realize that the harder the struggle, the sweeter the victory. It takes life shattering incidents to mold us into the people we are meant to be, otherwise we just don’t learn. I believe that it was Nikki who initiated the first stage of what would lead me to my spiritual awakening. The other element of importance was that the timing was right. I simply became aware and was willing to listen and see the signs that have always been there, unnoticed until then.

Coming soon…stage one of spiritual enlightenment and spiritual awakening. I believe now….