Transformations

The skies of the desert have inspired and mesmerized me for over forty years. As I observe the incredible sunsets cascading a palette of breathtaking hues over the magnificent Organ Mountains, I feel my inner transformation accelerating.

Something about being in the wide open spaces of New Mexico cracks open my heart even more to the freedom  of my true being. With each passing day I am given a new opportunity to release those ideas, attitudes, people, and limitations I have so frequently in my life held tightly onto, attached to the illusion which was feeding my ego. As I release and surrender to each joyous and different moment, I realize how suffocating any attachments really have been. I see how much energy it takes in the refusal of releasing all that is really so unimportant and irrelevant!

It is only in the midst of transformative breaths that I become aware of how it is I who have always blocked my own serenity and contentment. Though my ego wants so badly to be successful in blaming situations and others for my inadequacies and insecurities, for perceived mistakes, and for misguided detours of my pathway in life, the responsibility for my inner peace only belongs to me.

I thank the desert skies for being the catalyst  in showing me my personal truth. As we each become and experience a deeper willingness to let go , often one piece at a time or in massive chunks at other times, we are granted more freedom to simply breathe and to live the life we were created to live!

During the times of my awakenings that come at various cycles of my life, I have to wonder why I feel a need to wait so long to experience the depth and richness of being so free! It is so simple but how we humans choose to make it complicated! Finding humor in my humanness has definitely become an asset!

 

Going Into Silence

I live alone . I have been a frequent visitor into the world of meditation and quiet reflection for the past 35 years. In 2014 I stopped watching television and just recently began adding a few minutes of selective entertainment back into my weekly routine. Even living alone I am surrounded by noises of my environment.

I have friends and relatives who have a need to talk-talk-talk for whatever their motive and reason . Go to any restaurant in any town and observe the high number of dining partners on cell phones and/or electronic devices instead of communicating with each other. Watch in parking lots, streets, and businesses and you will see people glued to their devices, oblivious to vehicles and others around them.

Sadly, as a culture and a society, both adult and children’s experiences in our world today are so entrenched with stress, emotional dysfunction, electronic toys, and media bombardment that so many have become alienated and disconnected from the wilderness and nature that surrounds the very existence of each of us.

Mother Nature is the cure we each need! Leaving the walls of our homes and offices , as we step into the seclusion of a forest, a beach, a mountain,  or any body of water we almost immediately  know on a soul level we have entered into a miraculous realm of a healing sanctuary.

Communing in silence with the land will bring about a peaceful comfort that washes away the disconnect we have created. Silence in nature has always been waiting for each of us to re-connect,  healing us  mentally, emotionally, and spiritually!

When I travel and when I am at home, I have designed my life to walk, to wander, and to embrace with all my senses the simplicity of being outside with the oldest Friend and Silence of each footstep as it touches the Sacred Earth. Each and every time I grant myself the pleasure and opportunity of smelling, viewing, and touching the silence that Mother Nature so freely and unconditionally offers , I always question why I waited so long!

During my current journey visiting the Southwest I have become my own physician by prescribing 3-4 days weekly of Mother Nature visitations. Ahhhh breathing in the Silence of the land is the best medicine!

Why are you waiting ? Get out of that home or office and let it all go!!!

 

Sometimes There Just Is No Explanation

My day began as I joined millions of peaceful like minded souls who were praying for world peace and peace in Syria as the courageous James Twyman along with a few friends flew into Syria. Yes ,he flew into ISIS controlled Syria on a peace mission. I heard about this event a couple of weeks ago, and this morning awakened at 7 a.m. Mountain Time which was an hour before the designated prayer-meditation time on the East Coast.

For a few years  I have chosen to start my day sending prayers and positive energy to the planet and her inhabitants because I believe in my heart that we can accomplish miraculous change and transformation of our world. I have a few  friends who join me in my mission of creating a beautiful, peaceful world.

After joining the rest of the people supporting James Twyman and sending positive vibrations , I decided I needed to get out of my hotel room. Immediately once I had that thought, I felt a need to drive over to nearby Mesilla. I knew very little about that little town except for a small remembrance in my brain about it being a place that Billy the Kid, the outlaw, had history here.

I checked on my smartphone as to how to get to Mesilla and this picture pops up of a Catholic Basilica. From the moment I saw the picture I knew I had to see it! I had chills and goosebumps as I drove the short distance to Mesilla. I did not know exactly where the church was but figured since it was such a small town I could drive around until I found it.

I probably ought to tell you I am spiritual but not at all religious so it was not in my modus operandi of experiences to be searching for a Catholic Basilica. I parked at the historic Mesilla Plaza and decided to walk around. I got out of my car and turned around and there stood the Basilica of San Albino with an incredible  white statue of the Virgin Mary in front of the building. I walked over to her and just started crying joyfully! I cannot tell you why I was crying but I knew something mystical was occurring deep within me!

When I had finally stopped tearing up I walked to a nearby shop to find out information about this church and the statue. The shopkeeper did not know much but another customer overheard my questions and directed me to a gift shop for the Basilica. I walked quickly to it and was greeted by a volunteer. He was conversing with a young girl who was sharing that she  had a deep sense she was  guided to come to Las Cruces to begin her education as a doctor. She revealed how she was pretty sure  she was in this country to help others in Southern New Mexico. I walked into another room of the shop while they were talking and found several artifacts related to the Basilica of San Albino . I cried some more! When I returned to the volunteer the young girl was leaving and I looked around , and for some reason decided to buy an amethyst rosary! It seemed to jump into my hands! At one time in my life I would have had a judgment about the reason I was buying a rosary but at the place I am now in my life, I just go with the flow and try not to question anything that I experience!

I had a brief conversation with the volunteer who shared with me that the Basilica was built in mid 1850’s. He asked why I thought I was led to come to the church today. I hesitated but then told him I felt some strange sensation I had been here before, and I was not referring to this lifetime. We exchanged a few more words and he tells me he thinks I am here in Las Cruces area on a pilgrimage. I smiled and we said our farewells. Perhaps he is correct in why I felt so strongly in driving over 1800 miles to be  here for a couple of months.

As I got back into my car I looked in the rearview mirror and who is in full view but the Virgin Mary, and right when I looked at her, the church bells began ringing. I cried again and felt a new sense of peace . Once again I am reminded that it is the journey, never the destination, and I truly believe the best is yet to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Love Affair With New Mexico

The first time I came to the SouthWest from my home in the mountains of North Carolina was in 1975. My husband had just left this earth at the young age of 26, and I decided I needed a change. I took off in my car with a fellow companion who was also eager for an adventure!

I do not know really if it was the desert air, the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, the cuisine, the open spaces, or the fact that New Mexico embraced me as my long lost lover who had waited forever for me to show up! From the moment I crossed the New Mexico state line I was hooked.

For some I guess it is Santa Fe and Taos that beckons. The mystical enchantment encompassing all four directions of the state are my weaknesses. When I am not here I am thinking about getting back. When I am here my heart constantly is smiling. I have visited my truest Soul Connection , the lands of New Mexico, in each of the four seasons. Each radiates with a unique personality. There is not a time of the year I do not crave to be fed by my undying love and devotion of the Land of Enchantment! You may wonder then why do I not just re-locate here? Various reasons and commitments have served as blockages.

Sometimes I daydream about the fantasies I have had for all these years of living here, and wonder if like other fantasies that the reality may not be as great as the graphic imagery and sensual atmosphere my mind creates. Other times I believe my Heart and Spirit would soar beyond my wildest imagination if I allowed my feet to be firmly planted into the desert terrain and mesmerizing canyons of my love.

Embracing my Gypsy-Heart, I wonder if I will ever be satisfied to be in one place, even a place that calls me back so frequently. I truly do have an ongoing love affair with New Mexico. Like with all my other lovers, I question if I would stay or if boredom would overtake me , and I would flee in the heat of the moment searching for another avenue for perpetual freedom. Or, just maybe New Mexico is my freedom outlet!

In Search of Healthy Cuisine While Traveling On The Road

It is challenging enough when I am in my hometown to find healthy choices to eat and drink, but on the road it can be even more frustrating!

I fluctuate between vegetarianism and veganism ,have gluten/wheat sensitivities, refuse to drink tap water, do not drink alcohol, and juice daily. Because a few moons ago I cleared my body of other less healthy choices and if by some error I ingest food/drink not in my current diet, I get physically sick. Traveling and being sick do not work for me!
Therefore, I have developed a few solutions. One is I carry two cooler bags with juice, veggies, and snacks. I also have good water with me at all times. In another bag I have my Breville Juicer and a blender for juicing at hotels.

I love the Internet! Because I am a personal researcher I find incredible co-op stores, vegan bakeries, vegetarian restaurants, and other healthy places to eat! I have driven all over the U.S.A. several times solo and have been blessed with stunning and remarkable foodie discoveries! For example, I was passing through Oklahoma City, and found a Brazilian restaurant with 5 vegetarian- gluten free speciality choices! One was sautéed veggies with diced yucca in an herb-tomato-pepper sauce served over rice! OMG!!! In Nashville I lucked up on a vegan bakery where I purchased a boxful of goodies for the road!

Not only do I find epicurean delights on my journeys but the connections and conversations I have enjoyed have been thoroughly captivating and enchanting! There has to be an innate soul level energy in the verbal exchange between a seeker of nutritional pleasure (moi) and the food-beverage proprietor because I have experienced multitudes of experiences in my search for healthy road dietary desires!

As always, intention is , in my opinion, at least nine-tenths of all living law. Consequently, believing in the magic deliverance of all things good on road tripping can be manifested! Don’t you dare quit before these miracles happen to you, too!

Snow In The East!!

Jaguarwind

Today was the first travel day as I left my home in the mountains of North Carolina driving to Southern New Mexico. The first significant observation was three crows lined up on a high rock . They all three watched me drive by and turned simultaneously as if to wave good bye to me as I drove from North Carolina into Tennessee! Now maybe all of you do not believe there was any significance in the three crows, but for me it was ! In my Spiritual Belief, Crow comes to teach the “cawing” of the Truth. In my case, I interpret this as my personal truth.

Next I was drawn to a display of frozen water cascading across rocks as the water dripped upon them. The icicles seemed to beckon me so I pulled off the interstate and viewed the frozen artistic  design of nature. As I peered deeply…

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Snow In The East!!

Today was the first travel day as I left my home in the mountains of North Carolina driving to Southern New Mexico. The first significant observation was three crows lined up on a high rock . They all three watched me drive by and turned simultaneously as if to wave good bye to me as I drove from North Carolina into Tennessee! Now maybe all of you do not believe there was any significance in the three crows, but for me it was ! In my Spiritual Belief, Crow comes to teach the “cawing” of the Truth. In my case, I interpret this as my personal truth.

Next I was drawn to a display of frozen water cascading across rocks as the water dripped upon them. The icicles seemed to beckon me so I pulled off the interstate and viewed the frozen artistic  design of nature. As I peered deeply into each creation I noticed they were speaking to me as Spirits of The Ice. I took a picture of the artwork formed in the wild, and was mesmerized to be experiencing a precious moment in time. The Ice Spirits appeared to confirm my belief that each precious moment is crucial to an inner understanding of how we are given the opportunity to connect with each other, with the Elements, with all Creations. Once again, I am being presented with the importance of Connections which has been a strong ongoing theme in my world for the past 4 years.

Shortly after the Ice Spirit Connection it began to rain  white crystalized showers of  frozen sleet that turned into beautiful enormous snow flakes that  excited me. Memories of the first snows from my childhood open so many places in my soul! The changes of the seasons transform into a variety of texturized evolutions within me. Each season of each year of my life offers a new inspiration and awareness to me. Making the intention to pay attention to the messages offered as I grow older increases in paramounting importance with each passing year of my life.

If I thought I would spend some time reflecting on the facets of the beginning of this journey, I was rudely thrust into a new reality when suddenly I and my fellow travelers came to an abrupt halt on I-40. The deteriorating weather had produced black ice, layers of snow covered lanes, and mega wheeled trucks which were accelerating madly in the left lane with the hopes, I am sure, to make up lost travel time. As a result we travelers were gifted with an opportunity to embrace a series of moments as we each had no choice but to wait for several State Highway Patrols, two tow trucks, and a few emergency vehicles to clear the interstate . Some of us stayed in our vehicles and others co-mingled with fellow travelers as we waited over 3 hours before being able to continue on our respective adventures.

Once again, I was reminded it is the journey not the destination that really matters. When I affirm during traffic that we each have a common goal—To arrive at a predetermined destiny—I remain calm, unstressed, and know we are all unified as One. Isn’t it amazing how perceptions can affect and alter any situation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Is The Journey, Never The Destination

Another journey, another adventure begins on this glorious day, January 20, 2016! Each step , each moment contains sacred information and experiences . My intention is to pay closer attention to the unfolding of my destiny as it is revealed in a variety of awakenings!

Traveling solo to some people is frightening. To me it is an opportunity of exhilaration, opening new venues and awarenesses as I release expectations and plans. My heart sings with joy with each new journey for I know within that each moment holds magic and mystical simplicity!

I welcome those who wander on each respective journey as our pathways cross for we who listen and follow the calling of wandering are never lost. The adventures in nature, in cities,in the country, in the woods,  in the stars, and within our innermost worlds provide clues as to the reason we each are here on this planet at this time. I hope I never wrap my head again around the need to be so busy I miss any of the exciting connections of people, animals, land, or water!

Cultural Experience: The Squatty-Potty


Long before my arrival in China I received warnings but even with those warnings, I was unprepared for my first experience of using a Squatty Potty! Now I will tell you I am from the mountains of North Carolina, have done my share of relieving myself in the woods or on a camping trip. Somehow, though I have this preconceived idea that a restroom ought to contain a toilet that I can sit comfortably upon, not requiring the balancing skills I have picked up in yoga classes .

So here is the situation….in China when one is out and about, even in airports, often the existence of a Western Toilet (which as an American, I have always taken for granted) is hard to find. Of course in hotels Western Toilets are plentiful and the norm.

The Squatty Potty is basically a hole in the floor with gridded sides for placing the feet. To use the potty one must squat after carefully dropping your pants, making sure they do not get splashed as you are relieving yourself; rarely did I find toilet tissue in any squatty potty, so it was necessary to always carry some with me.
The ideal squatty potty is a clean one…if I had come across one that had a previous user’s markings, I would have left and gone into another stall.

It is a good idea to have a friend hold your belongings as often there is no hook to hang anything on…While you are in the squatting position, it will be necessary to balance yourself so not to fall sideways or backwards while you complete your task. The hardest part the first time for me was standing back up gracefully! Once you are again standing upright, hopefully you will be fortunate to have a lever to push with your foot to flush; sometimes you will have to use water provided in a bucket with a ladle like gadget to add to the potty for flushing.

Lastly , after you have mastered the squatty potty, try not to think about all the germs that have touched that door to the stall, as you exit and begin washing your hands until they are raw. Of course, it would be great if you remembered your hand sanitizer!

As much as I complained about the Chinese Squatty Potty, I really liked it for it seems much more natural than the Western Toilet. Now back home, I do miss utilizing Squatty Potty skills that really are instinctual! Perhaps I will go into the woods soon……

Cultural/Entertainment Events

This journey I took was composed of professional activities, sightseeing, and a few entertaining events. I wanted to share with you the entertainment events I attended.
1. In Beijing a few of our group attended a show called: Legend of Kung Fu.This is the description from the website (http://www.thebeijingguide.com/shows/kungfu.html) “The story follows the story of a young boy found wandering outside an ancient temple. Like every boy in China, he dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master. On the road to enlightenment the young monk encounters many difficulties and temptations.

The show has English subtitles shown above the stage to keep you informed of the story line. The actors do not speak, the show is all Kung Fu, dance and acrobatics. It is the fusion of modern dance with Chinese traditional arts which make this performance unique and spectacular. ”

This story filled my soul and inspired me as I have chosen to confront my own demons and temptations throughout my own journey of spiritual growth. What I came away with spiritually was to recognize when my EGO has tried to take credit for the incredible opportunities in my life. When we each live daily out of service for humankind, we will be tempted to take credit, but as we grow spiritually, we can choose to give credit only for our part in participating, not in the outcome. The music, dance, acrobatics, and theme of this show made my heart smile!

2. In Tibet at the Mad Yak Restaurant we were entertained by traditional Tibetan dancing and singing by artisans in beautiful costumes. I loved the music and the dancing. As a matter of fact I had said that morning to someone that I wanted to see Tibetan dancing! I really did manifest all sorts of experiences on this trip!

3. In Chengdu we attended a show at the Shufengyayun Teahouse located in Chengdu Cultural Park on Qintai Road. It’s beside Qingyang Palace, the famous Taoist abbey, and it’s near Wuhou Ancestral Temple and Dufu Cottage. The building of it is of primitive simplicity, and has a proper style of Old West Shu Country (the old name of Sichuan Province). Shufengyayun once was a teahouse and assembly hall of famous Sichuan operatic actors long before. In recent years, Shufengyayun gathers the distinguished actors in Sichuan Province once again and holds China Sichuan Opera Unique Skills Performance for each evening, which makes more and more people know Sichuan traditional arts and the old appearance of Sichuan ancient teahouse. The show consisted of 7 different “acts”, all different:Sichuan opera performance with incredible costumes and make-up; gaohu solo which was a kind of violin with two strings;a Stick-puppet show which has a long history over two thousands of years. The beauty of the World is adopted from an excerpt of Sichuan Opera; The story is about a fairy, who descended on the world and was infatuated with the life of human and the beauty of the world; Rhythm of Shu Yun is a particular art form consisting of talking, singing, Sichuan folk instruments performing, and dancing; a Suona solo which is known as Chinese trumpet: Birds in the Woods is the most expressive Suona composition which describes merry birdcall of hundreds of birds in the woods;next, an incredible Hand shadow show which is an ancient folk art, and finally the most incredible Changing Faces Act.During the performance, the performers change their masks in a magic way to show the rapid diversification. Since this was a tea house, we sipped incredible tasting tea during the show! This show was awesome and one that will be held in my memory for years to come!