Thursday, May 11, 2017

NM - ABQ Bright Spots Extraordinaire

  While I was laying low in Albuquerque, I DID have the opportunity to talk to a few wonderful people.
BRIGHT SPOT -  Brad and Jane are relatively new friends of mine.  I know them through a mutual friend.  I never knew what they did though.  We had an opportunity to chat a little one day and I was so excited about what their service is, I had to share.  Basically, they assist elderly folks transition from their own personal homes to either Senior living facilities or to smaller residences/apartments. They actually find them a place according to their wants and needs, secure the paperwork required and even help with filling that out.  They take care of all the details.  They sort, sell or donate items for them that will no longer be necessary in their new place.  They lovingly pack their treasured items that will go with them.  On moving day, Brad and Jane are there to load, transport, unload and set up the Seniors' new home just the way they like it!  What an incredible service!  And...it is a nonprofit business as well.  Thank you, Brad and Jane for your beautiful contribution to the peace of mind of those who are experiencing big changes in their lives!

BRIGHT SPOT - After I learned about Brad and Jane's business, I got to talking with Brad and he shared a remarkable story with me.  There was a gentleman who took his wife flowers several times a week that he purchased from the same vendor...year after year after year for decades!  One day this man got a very strong inclination that he should buy 2 bouquets.  He was a little confused and doubted why he would want to do that, but the sense was powerful so he went with it.  As he approached his car, he spotted an elderly woman whose face appeared quite sad slowly getting into her car.  He set one bouquet on the seat of his own car and walked over to the woman and offered her the second bunch of flowers.  She looked up at the gentleman, accepted the flowers and began to weep.  She told him how happy it made her to receive such a lovely surprise as that day was the one year anniversary of her husband's passing.  It just goes to show that when you listen to your intuition even when it might not make any sense at the moment...something wonderful could happen if you only pay attention.  Kudos to the gentleman with the 2 bouquets!

BRIGHT SPOT -  I stayed with one of my friends for the first few days I arrived in NM.  She was giving a class that she thought I might enjoy, so I went with her.  After the class, which was delightful and very informative, I spoke with a young woman who thought she might have met me at some point prior to this class.  We talked awhile...never did figure out if we had met.  However, as I was describing my adventure she lit up!  A friend of hers who lives in Iowa has always talked about traveling around the country.  She asked if I would possibly talk with him about some logistics.  I gave her my contact info to share with him.
     A few days later, Jeff got in touch and we talked quite a while.  What a totally awesome passion he has!  He is a young man of 32 years and has dedicated his time to serving the homeless.  He has volunteered on the Human Rights Commission and for the Toys for Tots Campaign.  The absolute most amazing project that he initiated involves authors of self-help and inspirational books and programs.  He reads the books then contacts the authors to create a way in which they might help the homeless.  His program is called the "You Inspire Me " Speaker Series.  Jeff has collaborated with the following to mention just a few:
*Leon Logothetics, author of Kindness Diaries: One Man's Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World
*W. Garth Callaghan, author of Napkin Notes: Make Lunch Meaningful, Life Will Follow
*Kim Dinan, author of Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and a Life Changing Journey Around the World
*Orly Wahba, author of Kindness Boomerang and founder of Life Vest Inside, an online non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring, empowering and educating people of all backgrounds to lead a life of kindness  (On May 1st, Orly and Jeff embarked on a cross-country listening and speaking book tour starting in Seattle and wrapping it up in New York...we are hoping to hook up and finally meet each other in person somewhere on the east coast!)
*Will Bowen, author of A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted.  Jeff entered a contest that Will Bowen sponsored and won.  As a result, Mr. Bowen flew to Dubuque, Iowa, spoke, and raised about $4,000 for the homeless!  A wonderful 'aside' is that I used Will Bowen's program when I was teaching middle school.  I ordered the film and the purple rubber wrist bands for my students and took the challenge of becoming aware of every time we complained and making a concerted effort to reduce that number with each passing day...it was a truly inspiring experience!
I would highly recommend looking into any or all of the above mentioned publications/programs!

***What a joy it is to know that so many people in this big ole world are doing such extraordinary things (often simple, yet profound) to make our lives richer in so many ways.  I feel honored to know many of them.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Mexico - April Off the Grid

     Sometimes a girl's just gotta say, WHOA!  Three full years of full time travel, two weeks in Ecuador, two recent weeks with family...all spectacular...all pointing to a period of rest and reflection. Many times when I need answers to questions, important questions, I have been given answers. These answers have risen up from a beautiful, trustworthy yet oftentimes subtle place within me.   As long as I LISTEN, the guidance comes.  Well, as you might imagine, when there is a great deal of noise and activity, it can be difficult to hear the response you are seeking.
     These three years, especially the last six months, for me have been fraught with surprises, excitement, amazing opportunities, wonderful new friends, self realizations and even a few eye-opening life lessons.  All of these have enabled me to not only create amazing memories that will last me the rest of my life, but to create a 'ME' that is, I believe, much more authentic than ever before. This ME is filled with a peaceful gratitude and a warm contentment as well as a kind of serene exhilaration.  One thing coming up in my life that I received very clear guidance about is that, as of mid summer, I will be winding down my full-time travel to settle somewhere so I can put all my energy into writing my book.  The where has been a real dilemma ever since I made the decision over 4 months ago.  I knew that when I needed to know...I would know!
     My month in New Mexico was planned with the intention that before I headed back east on April 29th, I would know!  I had already done a little research since the first of the year and had a sketchy idea of a city that might work.  It fit most of the criteria that I set as ideal living conditions for being able to author a truly inspired piece of work.  So, I figured that was that and I began to look into places to rent.
     Within a couple weeks of being quiet enough to hear and willing enough to listen, my answer came.  I was prepared for some level of confirmation for my already 'while I was busy with life' probable choice.  It was not at all what I expected.  I actually resisted the idea for a brief period of a couple days.  Experience has taught me that resistance is absolutely futile...in any situation.  This was no different.  My plansettle in or around the Asheville, NC area...temperate weather, the Great Smoky Mtns., lakes and rivers, a culturally rich atmosphere, kinda funky, etc.  My answer:  Albuquerque!  As in New Mexico!
     Having gotten past the shock and resistance, I sat with the whole idea and it made perfect sense, I think!  There I went, trying to figure out the 'reason'.  My mind meandered and landed in the practicality of the following thoughts.  The chances of me hunkering down for hours of daily contemplating, soul searching, writing and rewriting in a brand new town that was packed with things to do and places to see and people to meet seemed quite unlikely.  Then there's the getting accustomed to the area.   The bottom line:  who knows, right now anyway, why I am being guided to live in Albuquerque while writing my book...certainly not I!  If I had waited until I totally understood WHY I've been guided to make the decisions I have made in my life...I'd still be wondering what to do after high school!!!
     Two of my favorite quotes-and there have been many-that have inspired my ultimate life choices are:
1) "What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies within you"...Ralph Waldo Emerson and
2) "What if I fall?  Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?"...Erin Hanson
     With that being said, I have secured an apartment in Albuquerque just two blocks from the Sandia Mountain foothills.  It is close enough to everything I could possibly need, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle to nurture my 'beingness' enabling me to concentrate on what I am passionate about at this juncture in my life...writing my book (more about that later).  I will be traveling somewhat over the next couple of months to North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island and possibly a trip to the Canadian side to experience Niagara Falls.
     My apartment will be available mid July, so come July 5th, I will be driving back to Albuquerque to embrace yet another chapter in my blessed life.  I plan to continue blogging with a slightly different focus once I get settled in!  In the meantime, several more Van-Go traveling adventure posts!!!
     Next post...ABQ Bright Spot