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….

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

The quest for more 


(Focus…)
It was my friend “Pinterest” that peeked my curiosity and was guiding me without being aware of it at the time. I had reached a point where I was questioning everything these days. Old learned principles and my way of life was simply not enough anymore. I was existing but I was not alive. Physically I was breathing, but inside of me my soul was dying a little more with each passing day. The void grew bigger and I couldn’t remember a time where I didn’t feel burdened and bogged down with responsibilities and obligations. Really, it’s been like that for years, who was I kidding. I grew more and more intolerant to it, while growing more and more tolerant to changing my stars. I didn’t know how to do that as I felt trapped in a vicious circle that always had the same outcome. I didn’t understand all the components involved and I didn’t know what was going on, but I was willing to listen in the hopes to attain more insight and understanding. I had noticed physical signs in the form of totem animals and their symbolic meaning. I would soon learn that it was only the beginning and more sightings were heading my way. I also noticed the silent messages and the signs through the quotes I found on Pinterest. I was trying to understand the underlying reasons as to why a particular quote would reach me at a certain time. One could easily dismiss this and think that it is a non brainer to come across quotes if that is what you are looking for. Of course it is on a superficial level but I was on a quest for more, a quest to understand. Understand what?…you might ask, what’s there to understand as it might seem nothing more than a set of mere coincidences. Somehow these weren’t coincidences to me and all the messages I read, I analyzed as to why they crossed my path at any given time. 

In order to summarize my spiritual journey, I now knew that there were physical signs but also silent messages that may enter our life from time to time. I once heard this quote “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This quote had profound meaning to me. I didn’t know if I was ready. What was required to be ready, to make changes and what needed to be changed in which order. The only thing I knew was that I felt a difference inside and I was ready to listen and understand on a different level, a level that was new to me. Some say that this quote originated from Buddha, others will claim that it is fake. True or fake, I came across a article that steered me into the direction of Buddhism and spiritual awakening as it outlined the individual steps. Like a sponge I was absorbing and taking in all the information. I was hungry and curious to learn. I heard that people will believe what they want to believe and once again I was reminded that I was a optimist, a believer if you will. I engaged in the countless articles laid out in front of me and for the first time things started to make sense. I was relating and I wasn’t alone as I found myself identifying with the signs, physical, written and the not so obvious and silent ones. I believed that me, the student was ready and what transpired was that the teacher was appearing to open my eyes.

One article described the 7 stages to spiritual awakening. I found myself glued to it, nodding as if a lightbulb inside of my head had finally turned on. You could experience any of these steps in no particular order and I was beyond amazed to realize that I could relate to most stages. A transformation deep within, a shift in perception had begun, God knows when but I had a pretty good idea. I was finally waking up, although I never realized that I was asleep. Once again I felt that my life had passed me through mostly existence but not through being fully awake, being fully alive. Weird enough was that my experiences with the 7 stages went pretty much in order with how they were listed in the article and at least they were in the beginning. I believe that the first stage is vital to make the rest happen and I’m not sure if the other stages can occur without stage 1 as it involves life changing occurrences. 

To be continued…stay tuned. 

Xoxoxo ❤️

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

Living vs. being ALIVE…

If you follow my blog then you know that the trail often calls my name and nature for me is a way to escape a life filled with responsibilities and duties. From time to time bits and pieces of my life flash by me like the segments of an old movie reel. Black and white images, frayed and shaking against the backdrop, trying to hold on, trying to find their place. For a moment my strength subsides and I yearn to lower my shield. Exhausted from having to be so strong, I look for a break where my vulnerability can roam without the fear of harms way. To drop the responsibility and to set my inner child free that never got to see its childhood come to full terms. It was my Dad’s tragic accidental death at the age of ten which signifies the end of my childhood and the begin of adulthood that came way to soon. 

Life as I knew it had stopped for me and I lost my hero and best friend that day. There was no professional help to cope with the loss and to this day I don’t think that my Mom ever realized how much my Dad’s death impacted my life. I’m sure she was trying to find her own way of dealing with the loss of her soulmate and now raising me on her own. I would like to think that overall she did a great job and I never got into any serious trouble and grew up with values, a great work ethic and manners. I wonder if that is really what it is all about because despite it being so, I never learned how to actually live and there are no schools that teach you what should be most important. Today and going forward my hunger to live more is greater than ever….

It was many years later that I realized that my childhood died with my Dad. In school I found it hard to relate to other kids and I simple had no place amongst the popular crowds. Not because I was “nerdy” but because I had nothing to share. There were no stories to tell, no adventures of what I did with my Dad last weekend and hearing the other kids talk, was nothing more than a painful reminder that I was alone. Eventually I avoided being around those scenarios and perhaps it was the beginning of my introversion. 

I lost my place in society as the place it offered to me was too painful to be around. Every once in awhile a faint memory of my childhood emerges that somehow had vanished until that moment. As if it was hidden in a way to protect myself from the trauma of my Dad’s death. Maybe it is to be revealed now and maybe my adult self is ready to deal with those moments better than I could at the age of ten. I recall the silly times with my Dad, the carefree moments of just laughing and letting my soul hang loose without fear and constraints. 

Today it is nature and the trail that offers that outlet to me along with a few very special People in my life. It is then and there when that inner child emerges and I hear the voice (literally) coming from within to play, to be silly and to be a part of what will become a lasting special memory. Urging me to drop life and all its seriousness for a moment and instead take as much time as possible to truly be alive. 

Picture from my backyard “Lake Tahoe” ❤️

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

And so it begins…

I know what’s next and so it begins.

Few things make me truly angry and while the initial anger, 

the feeling of deceit and betrayal subsides, 

I realize that everything is exactly how it needs to be. 

A new Canto in my life’s poem is about to begin.

And I embrace it with all my might. 
(Stay tuned….)

Posted in Adventure, Animals, Experience, Hiking, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Mother nature, Motivation,, My story, Photography, Purpose driven, Wildlife

First snow hike

Finally….today was a much needed day spent on the trail before heading into another six day stretch and only one day off for the third week in a row. Days like these are seldom to come by right now and who knows when the next one will be, but in the meantime…..today was beautiful. 

Many would say that the hiking season is over, but for a true lover of nature and a hiker I don’t think that statement ever speaks the truth. I have hiked all year around and sometimes you just need to scope out where the best weather is. Probably the only element that deters me a bit are strong winds when it’s cold outside and that will give you a headache for sure and make for a miserable day. On the other hand, hiking in the snow or while it is snowing is very peaceful and nourishing to my soul. Again people may think that the snow is too cold, but you’ll be amazed how nice and warm the sun feels on your skin and if you’re not careful you will hike away with a good sunburn from this seemingly too cold encounter. 

Today, I was amazed at how much moisture the recent storms brought to the Sierra. The water levels had risen to submerge my beach and I had no choice but to climb to higher grounds to find a dry sunbathing rock. I was not prepared to find that much snow on the trail and it was pretty deep in a few parts causing the bottom of my pants getting heavy from the wet weight. My shoes also suffered and eventually I could feel my socks getting pretty wet inside of them. Hey, but on the bright side and the silver lining of the story is that my shoes were in desperate need to wash the dust of the previous trails away and after today they are back to almost looking brand new. Almost 😉

There were also a few bonuses today in the form of wildlife. I saw a huge heard of pronghorn antelopes, I know the general area they hang out and I always look to spot them. I have never seen so many all at once until today and it’s nice to see this unusual almost out of place looking animal population thriving in healthy numbers. I saw too many deer’s to count today, a donkey, wild horses, four coyotes, chipmunks, alpacas and a bald eagle flying high above me while sunbathing. 

Yep….I would say that “It was a good day”

Posted in Experience, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Motivation,, My story, Purpose driven, Self help

When I grow up…

Driving to work this morning, I had a feeling as if I was driving into the wrong direction. I wanted to drive “from” work instead of “to” work, to go back doing what I love, back to the trail or back to writing. Don’t get me wrong I like my job and once I got going the day actually flew by. I love being in a position that allows me to contribute and I’m lucky that I can make a difference for some people. But let’s face it, if I had to choose between going to work and being able to make a difference writing, it’s a no brainer which one I would choose. Writing is a much bigger platform and your work has no limits as to how many people you can reach worldwide. I was beginning to feel that the modest confines of my “work building” and the handful of people that I could reach, were simply not enough anymore. But for now, nothing changed and whoever I could reach in some way, would remain equally important to me. In a strange way my intuition said that I was about to embark on something great. I didn’t know what that would be and I had no expectations about the future, but already i had found something great in the people that I had met here on WordPress. I had found a purpose that was lacking before. Maybe that was linked to my hunch about what was lying ahead and time would tell as it always does. 

While driving I was indulging myself in dreams and vaguely thoughts flashed by me like little messengers trying to direct my thoughts. I realized that never before had I known with such intend what I wanted to be when I grow up. And while I was well into my adult years, I came to the conclusion that perhaps I had chased a career that was never meant to be for me. If anything stood out from it, it would be that it is never too late to change and that anything is possible. I reminded myself quiet often of it and I knew that it had become my motto. Something that I held onto, something that was giving me the inspiration to believe. So now what? Was this the moment I jump off the hamster wheel?

Three month ago as I started this blog, I wanted to be a writer and felt a strong calling to put my thoughts onto paper. A week ago this happened and the humble little blog has grown to over 200 followers. I’m truly amazed about the support and the love you have shown me and I can’t thank you enough. 

This encompasses so much I want to mention and yet for some reason I feel challenged to find the right words to truly pay homage to you. Nothing can express my gratitude for your time spent, for your comments to my posts and the encouragements to keep going . While your words and feedback means the world, they also allow me a glimpse into your lives and I love to meet new people on a daily basis. 

I’m not sure if there will ever be a point when the words will cease, where there is nothing to convey, but I surely hope I never see that day. Frankly I didn’t know what to expect as I started and I remember thinking about how cool it would be to be a writer. I guess I have achieved that and somebody once said that if you write every day, well then you are a writer. I never said that I was a good writer, but good or bad, I write. Mission accomplished, right? Well not exactly and my mission has changed a bit.

The bar is raised and my goals have changed. I owe this new wonderful dream to a few very special individuals that have inspired me through their words to become a storyteller. No longer do I want to convey just content and data and I hope it was never as drastic as it sounds. To me there is magic in storytelling and it’s a place that captures the reader in an escape from a reality that might have become too serious. To help you feel good inside and to inspire hope and believe. Perhaps to make you pause and re-evaluate what is truly important in your hectic life. To indulge yourself in magic and reaffirm that you are not alone. To remind you that others have been on that same path you find yourself on and comfort your journey. To free that inner child and laugh until it hurts. 

I have grown up a long time ago, but I don’t take myself too seriously and try to remain a kid at heart. I have to say that it is for the first time that I truly know where my place is in this world. What I want from life, how I want to contribute to society and how I want to refine who I am growing into as a person. And even now after all these years, it is that I realize more than ever that it is never too late to change your stars. 

As for me, I dream to whisk you away and weave you up in the magic of storytelling. To help you escape and pursue your hopes and dreams. And for you I hope you shoot for the stars and make your own magic come alive in any way you possibly can. 

Xoxoxoxo ❤️

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

Trail magic 

Just recently I had the pleasure to learn about trail magic and I will go into detail of this came about in a later post. The subject deserves a post all of its own, and I don’t want to distract from a special message. Anyways, trail magic is a term used amongst thru hikers, especially long distance hikers. Trail magic could happen if a Good Samaritan leaves a meal behind for these hikers, maybe it could entail clothing, shelters and whatever else useful to somebody who has been out on the trail for weeks, even months. These simple things can become valuable as gold once stripped from the conveniences of every day comfort.That was the first part that inspired this post about trail magic. 

The second part came from my love of travel and it has become tradition to take a few days off in October before the holiday madness would choke the life right out of me. For the first time ever, this would not be possible this year, and this alone could have been enough to send me into a depressive state. Literally. Ok maybe not this serious but my adventure time is very important to me and as an empath I recharge in nature. I don’t compromise on it easily and I don’t take it for granted. Beyond my limits this year, October would have to move to January and it would be the earliest time I could request time off. Ugggghhhh is it January yet? 

I recalled a camping trip along highway 1 and the Californian coastline. And yes, I had deliberately begun to torture myself. Why even think about it, it wasn’t in the cards this year, and it was clear that all of what was in my immediate future, was work. This ocean adventure ended up with a trip to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, where magic happens every day. And then it hit me and I thought of something that made me smile big, bigger and yes even bigger. Just like Disneyland, the trail had always been a magical place for me. I decided to bring a little trail magic of my own. No I wasn’t going to leave food, as most thru hikers would have completed their adventures already before winter was sweeping over the land, and no I wasn’t going to leave a blanket or some clothing behind. I had something other in mind that would require me to be a part of the magic. 


The day started around 9Am, kind of late as the days are so short already, but there is something so nice and relaxing to ease into your day off with a cup of coffee and no rush. Our journey took us north towards Lassen volcanic park which is an amazing place all by itself, but the final destination would take us off course to a different location. It was gloomy with patches of low hanging clouds until we reached what looked like a cloud roll that spread for miles across the ground. It seemed as if it had jumped out of the sky to take a little break and rest while kicking back on the farm fields. It was unusual to say the least and I kept admiring it’s appearance. The road started to clear up ahead but I also spotted another cloud field way ahead. Or so I thought. Getting closer I could smell it and I soon found out that it was a controlled burn, so bad, I never seen one so thick of smoke and it nearly sent me into a panic gasping for air. I had to talk myself through it, calming myself and luckily the air quality slowly but surely got better. How the heck did I ever smoked for so many years. Nowadays I struggled to tolerate smoke and it felt as if I was choking for air whenever I was around a smoker. 


Another wall of clouds was lying ahead and I was relieved to find out that it was exactly that. Clouds and thank goodness no more smoke. In Quincy, we turned left towards Bucks Lake and shortly after passed a man on a tiny moped. It really was way too small for him but the thing even funnier than that was the metal basked on the back of the moped and the rubber chicken that was secured to it, now staring me in the face. Over the years, we had too many moments like these to count, always making them result in a funny memory. Funny, unusual things that may be dumb to some people, but if you are easily amused and you have a good sense of humor, well you get the picture. You kind of live for these moments and yep it’s just like being a bunch of big kids. 


Shortly after the human meets chicken encounter we reached our turnoff to leave civilization behind and climb three miles into our mountain lake paradise. As the dirt road climbed through the forest, I finally found my fall color. Yellow, orange and red leaved trees were competing in the morning sun giving the forest a magical glow. Here and there a few sun rays would find their way through the thick leaf cover to shine their light like a flashlight onto the forest road. “The destination is the journey” I thought to myself. Another thing I had read and something that has always been close to my heart even before I came across this saying. I was about to hike my first few steps and I had been in the car for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Yet the adventure had long begun and started with the first mile of driving. 


We arrived at Silver Lake and the trail greeted me with all of its magic. It was time to pay homage with my own greeting and my own magic and I put them on. I brought my own magic from Disneyland, my Mickey ears and in a way this single day became my October getaway. With the ears securely sitting on top of my head, no other human came in contact with this human mouse wandering through the woods. The trail climbed steeply up a ridge where it would level out and become more gradual. Turning around to look back at Silver Lake, now lying beneath me, I saw snow covered Lassen Peak in the distance barely peaking over the tree line. It looked so close, almost within reach due to the sheer size of it, but I knew it was a ways away and it was a nice bonus to catch glimpse from afar. The trail was fairly smooth, gradual, solid dirt, partially covered with pine needles which gave it little extra cushion for a padded feel. Soon it got rocky and harder to maneuver, which also makes it harder on the feet. There was a storm brewing further north that my bones could forecast in the pressure changes. Today would be one of those days I’d come to rely on my wooden staff for balance just a little more. The aching pains in the feet can make me feel clumsy when dealing with weather conditions and unfortunately not all hiking days are created equal for me. 


Soon we reached Gold Lake, another lake lying in a granite alpine bowl. This would be our end destination for the day and a place to stay for awhile. Getting off trail we found a sunny spot high above the lake that offered stunning views and a round soft padded ground spot just in front of a huge pine tree that was pretty to look at but wouldn’t steal our sunshine. We had worked up an appetite and ate our subs and of course more trail magic….cookies while admiring the lake below. It was warm enough to sun bath and perhaps work on that base tan with no tan lines (an ongoing joke) for one of the last times for this year. The sun felt good and it was very soothing to watch the big tree slightly swaying back and forth in the breeze. From time to time a bird came to visit it and you could watch a squirrel in the distance and that was really it. Nothing more….bliss. And how could any day be complete without the magic of a little nap in a place like this. Nature and “Trail magic” at its best. ❤️