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Searching for Gratitude…To No Avail?

Gratitude month is upon us…

And yet, many of us are having a difficult time finding something to be grateful for…Thank you 2020!

I expect after the election, things may get worse. At least for one side of the political spectrum. I foresee people struggling to create their daily gratitude lists.

But what if we might just look for one situation, person, or experience to be grateful for?


First, let’s review the benefits of gratitude. In a white paper titled, “The Science of Gratitude”, The Greater Good Science Center reference the benefits of gratitude practice for individuals and within groups:

  • Gratitude is associated with better health.
  • It can improve life satisfaction, happiness, optimism, and overall well-being.
  • Gratitude may curb materialism.
  • There is evidence that a grateful disposition may protect against burnout.
  • Gratitude interventions may improve relationships.
  • Grateful employees are often high performers

Are you convinced yet? Yeah, yeah…We have read it all, heard it all. But Covid-19, Civil Unrest, Eddie Van Halen, and Sean Connery died this year. Really. What do we have to be grateful for?

Flipping the Script

Most of us may have seen our gratitude evolve to attitude…Well, we can flip the script whenever we choose to. But how do I do this Elysia? Well, I am so glad you asked. Let’s just start with one item.

  • Perhaps, you might reach for a memory. Struggling with the current state of our country? You might think about a time this country made you happy. I am sure you can.
  • Or your significant other who you have seen way too much this year. Are you annoyed constantly with your other half?
    • Does he/she NEVER do something you wish they would? Maybe this person doesn’t speak your love language.
    • Maybe you can find one moment your loved one said or did something that was completely out of the ordinary. This filled you with the feeling of being loved like never before.
    • It doesn’t have to be a big event, it could have been a small, yet powerful moment.

So, do you got that memory? Good.

Now think about this memory as a precious gem that you rarely pull out of its box. Open the box and take this gem out. It is probably a little dull. So, imagine yourself polishing this gem. There it is, brilliant once again. Do you remember how good this gem makes you feel? There’s your gratitude.

Furthermore, you don’t just have to take this gem out during Gratitude Month. You can do this anytime you need it. Polish the Gem.


Polishing The Gem

Photo by Erin Profaci on Pexels.com

So, I’m going to make a short story, long….

Three years ago, I was at an advanced yoga teacher training in Hawaii. Recently divorced, I had just developed a friendship with a wonderful man. We emailed each other constantly because there were too many words to put into text messages.

He lived on the east coast, yet I was falling in love with a man I had only seen twice and never even held hands with. Further, he recognized how important this training was for me in Hawaii.

After a powerful week at the Ashram and final exams, the other teachers and I went to a restaurant to celebrate. We were all exhausted. I really wanted to rest up for the graduation the next day.

A waitress walked up to our table and asked for me. Then handed me a leather fold with an airline ticket inside. It was HIS ticket. He had flown all the way to Hawaii to attend my graduation at the Ashram the next day!

My classmates asked me if he was the guy standing at the bar looking at us. I turned my head slowly, then back really fast covering my mouth in astonishment. We all yelled out loud.

I got up and walked over to him. Not a confident walk, by the way. My legs felt like Jell-O from all the Yoga sequences we had practiced over the week. We embraced for a long, long time. And all I could say was, “This.”

I was booked to stay for another week on the island for an extended vacation. And he spent it with me. I had never felt so free with another soul as I did that week. Walking around the cabin in the nude, going swimming in the morning, and just sitting on the sand.

We chose to keep it a low eventful week. The real event was just being together.


For the next year, we had the most beautiful affaire de coeur. We met up in DC, again in Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. We drove through New Mexico, Nevada, and California.

However, just as I foresaw it: We could not keep up with the distance and our different travel schedules. Additionally, my Gastroparesis had returned, rendering me grounded at home. And not wanting to see anyone.

Thankfully, we are still best friends. We still catch up when we can. And when I ever find myself questioning his friendship and love for me…I polish the gem. Oh, what a gem it is!

Wishing you peace, love, and gratitude this season. Stay blissful my friends. – e


Grab Your Free Download: 3 Tools to Help You Shed the Excess [Infographic]

You are overwhelmed with excess. I get it. I’ve been there. I still go there from time to time. This is why I developed my Shed the Excess Program. Click here to get your complimentary download. Valued at $25.00.

Shielding

Shielding

Shielding is a cross-cultural/cross-faith-based practice.

I have been wanting to write a piece about shielding for some time now. I guess this time is apropos. Especially as we are in the position of having to shield ourselves spiritually and physically.

shielding, burning sage

I’ve known that I was an empath before there ever was a title. Most empaths –yours truly included, are in a constant state of exhaustion. Additionally, we struggle with setting boundaries.

Or as the Native American Medicine Woman I met in Ecuador, calls it “shielding”.

Furthermore, this woman felt the need to tell me, “Are you okay? Because you look like sh!t. Your energy is f*cked.”

She then spent the afternoon expressing to my daughter and me how we were both in need of shielding.


Jewish Shielding Prayer

Guide us with Your good counsel, and save us for the sake of Your Name. Shield us from foe, plague, sword, famine and anguish. -from the Jewish Hashkiveinu prayer

I’ve been an empath before it was cool…

When I was younger, I didn’t understand why I often felt sick. I was often told that I was a hypochondriac. But I started noticing extreme pain from time to time.

One particular evening, my stomach was in such considerable pain. Furthermore, the word “gangrene” popped in my head. “Gangrene? Whatever, maybe I am a hypochondriac.”, I thought to myself. The next morning, my step-mother called and asked me to pray for my grandmother.

She further explained that my grandmother was in surgery the night before and they had found gangrene in her stomach. Hmmm. Maybe this is all happening to me, not so that I should be sick. But that I should direct prayer (as a form of shielding) to whoever is truly sick.


shielding, alone

Seclusion

On the far other side of the sphere, some empaths write off people as a form of shielding.

But how sustainable is that? On the contrary, one may continue a relationship while shielding the negative energy others so openly want to share.

True, right now we are all in a form of seclusion, yet this is soon to end. Moreover, some who are in quarantine at home with others are most likely struggling with other’s energy in the home 24/7.

I do not want to devalue the need to walk away from toxic/abusive relationships. These circumstances truly require complete distancing. 

However, this writing is about shielding –or setting personal boundaries from the energy of our people. The people we live with, work with and socialize with.

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. -Brene Brown


Faith Without Action is Dead

I believe in the intention of personal prayer. I also believe that prayer is not for God, but for the strengthening of my personal faith. God doesn’t need me. I need God.

That being said, shielding and shielding prayers are not an excuse to shut people out. At least, not in the form of emotional abuse. When we let love lead, we will know our motivations. Call it conscience, Holy Spirit, whatever you prefer.

Additionally, we do not pray then sit on our asses. We follow our Spirit in how it directs us.

For physical shielding, we are at the point where we must be vigilant. Sure, pray. But practice social distancing when needed. Wear your masks and gloves, and wash your hands frequently.


Shielding Prayers

My personal shielding prayer is a simple phrase (with some added personal words) from Psalm 3:3:

You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

So, I did some research and found the following shielding prayers from several faiths:

shielding, prayer

Buddhist Chant: Bojjhaṅga Paritta

Catholic Prayer: St. Joseph Prayer for protection

Hindu Chant: Durga Mantra

Kundalini Chant: Rakhay Rakhanhaar

My son, who has embraced The Orthodox Faith, shared this Orthodox Guardian Angel Prayer for Protection with me:


O Angel of God, my Holy Guardian, safeguard my life in the fear of Christ the God, set my mind on the right path, and strengthen my soul in the love of God. Guide me that I may receive a great mercy from Christ the God.

O Holy Angel, standing by my miserable soul and by my life affected by passions: Leave me not alone, nor depart from me because of my intemperance. Leave no chance to the crafty demon to get hold of me by overpowering this mortal flesh of mine. Strengthen my miserable and feeble hand, and set me upon the path of salvation.

Yea, O Holy Angel of God, the guardian and protector of my miserable soul and body: Forgive me everything whereinsoever I have offended thee in all the days of my life; And if I have committed any sin during the last night, protect me during the coming day;

And save me from every temptation of the adversary so that with no sin of mine should I incur the anger of God. Pray to God for me that He may fortify me in the fear of Him, and make me a servant worthy of His kindness.

Amen.


By adding a daily shielding practice to your life, you may find yourself feeling healthier, more energetic. And experiencing true bliss.

Do you have a shielding practice? What can you do today to start one? Share with me in the comments below…and stay blissful my friends.

Resilience at Home

Resilience

I think we build resilience to prepare for whatever adversity we’ll face. And we all face some adversity – we’re all living some form of Option B. -Sheryl Sandberg

Resilience


If we have all the basics, we will most likely survive this global crisis.

The challenge is how we miss other human energy.

I have my dog, Winston and a good neighbor. And said neighbor has her two dogs aka “Winston’s bitches”. They have playdates as Jenna (my neighbor) and I chat from a social distance.


So, in essence, I am having more social activity since the quarantine began. And I discovered that we have other neighbors who will say hi and share the same woes. Mostly about hair. Ha!

Indeed, as I sat outside one day, people were sitting outside their apartments. We have a rather large and lush grass-covered courtyard. “Other people live here?”, I asked myself. Then, “Oh no, other people!” But other people are not so bad. At least not my neighbors.

A perpetual state of adaptation

ResilienceIf you are experiencing what I am, things are in a perpetual state of adaptation right now. Though we are learning how to do things differently, we hope some situations will go back to the way it was before… Shall I mention going to the salon? The gym? An outdoor concert…

When my gastroparesis returned, I had to pause my travel as I adapted to living with illness again. In a way, I was preparing for what we are going through right now. Most importantly, I created a home hot Yoga room.

As I started out, I was troubled by how weak my muscles had become. Perseverance is my middle name…I am now getting stronger every day. Resilience.

Resilience

Obviously, my life has not always been rainbows and butterflies. I know what it is like to have a lot and not to have much at all. I have experienced trauma and peace. Chronic Illness and health. Birth and death. Moreover, my favorite book in the bible is Ecclesiastes. Particularly this set from Ecclesiastes 3:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…

We, humans, are born with resilience. Some of us have had to nurture it more than others. And we know, this too shall pass.


Resilience

This Season’s Learnings

  • The art of brewing (and sipping) Turkish Coffee
  • What minimalism means to Elysia – It is not necessarily what it means to others.
  • Caring for home plants – an art of resilience in its own right.

Yes, we will get through this particularly harsh season. Furthermore, I believe we will come out of it stronger and wiser. Because we have resilience.

I am sure you all have your own stories of resilience from this global health crisis and I would love to hear them. Please comment below.

Never give up…and stay blissful my friends. – E

6

 

Blissfully Welcoming a New Year

Blissfully Welcoming a New Year

I love new beginnings, fresh starts, how my closet looks after I clean it…

I don’t love being grounded or having my life interrupted. Something that happened to me in 2019. Gastroparesis returned and I had to put off travel plans for a while. What to do, what to do? Put that money in my investment accounts and start a new gratitude list, of course!

Because when life gives you lemons, make a funny face and throw them at someone else to pass on the blessings! And, everything is a blessing. Even if they come disguised as curses.

Blissfully Welcoming a New Year, WinstonSo I found myself ready to adopt a new puppy last fall. He is my joy! Watching Winston, running through our apartment, sliding on his butt just before he crashes into a wall. Life is good.


About a month ago, my little guy got very sick. What are the odds? Winston has Gastroparesis. Fortunately for Winston, I know how to care for this disease. Giving him love and ice cubes when he was thirsty and couldn’t hold anything down. Because I know exactly how he felt.

Thankfully, for dogs — and especially puppies, GP is rarely chronic. So, when Winston was feeling better, we took a ride. To Colorado. After all, my kids and granddaughters needed to experience the happiness Winston brings.

Instead of the 7-day trip we had planned, it was extended to 12 days. Because it is just so difficult to say good-bye to my loved ones.

Moreover, I was able to witness my oldest son’s Chrismation in the Orthodox Church. What a gift to be able to see his spiritual journey in motion. My son let go of the old names and took on the name “Peter”. His reasons were profound. However, that is his story to tell, not mine. I just get to observe…blissfully!


Returning home, I unpacked our bags and spent a few hours cleaning my closet. It was dark by the time I finished. So, I turned on the closet light, sat down and just stared inside my newly organized wardrobe. There is something deeply spiritual about an organized closet…

assorted clothes hanged inside cabinet
Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com


A random memory of my brother, Stan practicing his disco moves with me. Making me think, we were practicing our disco moves. This was the only time I felt that I knew how to dance. Disco…one of the finest genres of all!

What is it about welcoming a new year that brings you joy? Talk to me…and stay blissful my friends.

A Letter to Those Who Grieve

Grief, Grieving, A Letter to the Grieving

Grief is a Motherfucker…

October is a tough time for me. Being that the fall represents letting go, loss, grief. At least to me, it does.

I have lost a marriage, a baby, and even my gallbladder in the month of October. And yes, we all grieve the loss of something or someone at some point in our lives. My toughest loss, however, was not in the fall. My father left this Earth on a rainy day in the month of February.

I had no idea how to grieve back then and didn’t do it so well. But I learned. After I got sober, I, unfortunately, learned a lot about the proper way to grieve.

Hence, the thought of writing a letter to the grief-stricken has consumed my mind lately. If you are in a state of grief, I hope this letter provides you with some insight of what you are experiencing right now.


My dearest grief-stricken friend,

At this very moment, there is nothing I can say to make you feel better. There is perhaps, nothing anyone can say. What I can share with you is that I understand.

They say. “time heals all wounds“. I found this to be untrue. The pain of loss will always be there. It does, however, get easier. It just takes a long time.

Know this, that you are loved and appreciated. And those around you will love you through this. Whether from a distance or in person.

You may see yourself behaving differently. Maybe you are more flaky or scatterbrained. Perhaps, you are experiencing a higher level of anxiety. Be patient with yourself. You have just experienced a great loss. Therefore, you are permitted to grieve however best works for you.

Take all the time you need.

With much love,

E.


Grieve

www.christiancafe.com

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Shedding Physical Excess

Shedding Physical Excess

Shedding physical excess can be painful.

Shedding any excess can be painful. For some, it may feel like a surgical amputation. I experienced this many years ago when I started to live a serene life. I had known only chaos since I was a small child. My physical body and my emotional state rebelled. Consequently, I developed panic attacks.

However, there was a lesson to learn. Fortunately, I had a strong tribe of support and help along that part of my journey. I just needed to learn to live a better life. And learn I did.


To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven. 

– Ecc 3:1

It’s been a while since I have done some good writing. This was not planned. Two months ago, my GP (Gastroparesis) returned. What can I say? I had a great 5-year remission. Remarkably, this came just as I was about to address the topic of shedding physical excess.

Nonetheless, I have had to shed a whole lot from my diet. For three weeks, I was unable to eat any solid food. So, there’s that. Keto is out the window. I cannot eat any meat or anything too fibrous.

Exercise and Yoga practice is limited as well thanks to my low nutrient count. So, what does one do? One finds another form of movement. Just as I found other ways to get as many calories in me when I cannot eat.

One night, I truly thought I was done. My body shaking, vision blurred, I was weak & in severe pain. I knew the flare-up was almost over. I just needed to make it through the night. Still, I thought I was going to die.  I ain’t going to lie, I kind of wished for death. But I’m a survivor. And as survivors do, I survived.


Anywhoo, let’s talk about shedding physical excess:

Diet (And Weight)

Ha! You would think someone who hasn’t eaten much in 2 months would be shedding some weight right? Not me. Well okay, I lost about 5-7 lbs. maybe. But hey, it is what it is. In the past, I have scraped the whole internet regarding diet plans. Currently, I’m not actually looking for a diet plan for myself.

Shedding Physical Excess

Regardless, there are many people out there looking for the diet plan that works. One thing I know: our bodies are all different. Find a plan that works for you. And make sure you are getting some movement.  You’d be amazed at how much one misses working out when it is not an option. This too shall pass.

Sometimes, our bodies divulge the need to change things up. Moreover, I realized that when I am weak and, in a fog, I cannot think about preparing something that I can digest. So, I subscribed to Daily Harvest (Yes that is my affiliate link :).  I prefer their fruit smoothies and Avocado/Cucumber soup. And they add veggies to the smoothies! As always, I add protein powder.

These days, my diet mainly consists of pureed food, soups, and smoothies. Somedays I am okay with that. Sometimes not. But we don’t always have to like our circumstances. We just need to accept them, right? After all, this too shall pass.

Additionally, I am on liquid forms of vitamins and supplements. Iberogast is a German made herbal concoction that is almost miraculous. Danke, Deutschland.

Beauty

woman-1255321_640

I know there are women who don’t get excited about beauty products. I’m just not sure I’ve ever met one. Before this last flare up hit, I went through all my gear and tossed away any expired items.

Moreover, I cannot count how many products I had barely used. Of course, when I purchased them, I thought each item would be the miracle cure for my numerous imperfections. What? I thought I had expressed my desire to be perfectly imperfect. To the trash you all go!

Now, when I see a shiny new product, I ask myself the following questions:

  • Do I need this?
  • Do I need this now?
  • Is it within my budget?
  • Does this item serve any real purpose in my life?

If the answer is “no”, time to move on. If the answer is “maybe”, I put it on the wish list. And if the answer is “yes”, I first get rid of one item before purchasing my new precious.

Click here to get a free download of 3 Tools to Help You Shed the Excess [Infographic]


Yeah, I was pissed off when Gastroparesis returned to my life. I don’t like it. But I will accept it. For me, today GP is not a death sentence. It only controls me when it is at it’s strongest. But I am not GP. I am E… And this too shall pass.


Shedding Physical Excess

He

He is not mine.

He never was.

Can we ever really own another anyway?

Time to let go.

Time to move forward.

Resisting the evolution of life is fruitless.

I want to be a healthy, strong tree.

And sometimes, I must stand alone.

Feeling the winds of adversity trying to take me down once again.

Trusting my roots to grow.

Strengthening my stance.

Until the calm returns.

And I may rest.

And I may delight in the sunshine once again.

I deserve this.

And so does he.

Shedding Physical Excess

3 Tools to Help You Shed the Excess [Infographic]

While working on my “Shed the Excess” series, I am utilizing my tools more and more. Of course, I need to organize these tools for easy access. Thus, I created an Infographic for your viewing — and downloading pleasure.

A few key reminders while you shed the excess:

  • Don’t take yourself so seriously – have fun.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Nurture yourself with good energy, nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
  • Avoid alienating everyone else around you — Don’t judge others because they choose a different lifestyle.
  • Stay blissful my friends – e

shed (2)

Click here to get a free download of the Infographic.

She-Shedding Emotional Excess

2019 has become the year of shedding excess for me. Remarkably so, this theme has been communicated to me through, prayer, meditation, yoga, and Netflix. All in January 2019. I hear you, God!

Therefore, I am sharing this part of my journey for the next few blog posts. I have outlined my she-shedding as follows:

  1. Emotional
    1. “Responsibilities” to Family & Friends
    2. Circle of “Friends”
    3. Fear
  2. Physical
    1. Hair
    2. Weight
    3. Clothes
    4. SHOES!!
    5. Home
    6. Yoga Practice
  3. Career
    1. Number of Clients
    2. Amount of “Busy Work”
  4. Spiritual
    1. Empathetic Attacks
    2. Sex
    3. The Overwhelming amount of “Inspirational” Facebook Groups

For today’s blog, let’s focus on shedding emotional excess:

“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

airstream-2656977_640

The summer of 2018 was not an easy one for me. I was selling my home and moving from Colorado. It was time. I had planned to move to Hawaii but took a detour to West Texas. I found a love for this little town and its community. Things run slower and it is much quieter than Loveland, Colorado.

Unfortunately, some of my friends and family felt I was abandoning them. This pulled on my “responsible” apron strings. And shit got ugly. I can’t remember feeling so guilty about “doing me”…well ever. People said I was chasing after my new love. Not true. He and I decided to hang in West Texas for a couple of months, while I decided what I wanted to do. Since we both travel, we decided to make our RV in West Texas our landing spot.

The gift of this relationship: No unrealistic expectations or responsibilities. However, my guilty feelings over the summer flowed into our vibe from time to time. On one such day, at a carnival, I could not bring myself to smile. If you know me, I smile a lot sooo…

It was time to set my friends and family free to make their own decisions. Time for them too experience their own journeys. Regardless, of my desire to “fix” everyone else’s problems. I need to do the things I have feared my whole life.

Thus, I let them go. Of course, I let them go with a blessing and not a curse. Regardless, I did experience frustration and shake my fist at times. I am human after all. This began my process of shedding emotional excess.


But Elysia, How do I Shed Emotional Excess?

I’m so glad you asked! As have always been instructed by my advisors: First thing you do is pray. But faith without works is dead. Therefore, action must follow…

  • Service Work to Others – Just because my life seems like shit, doesn’t mean that others who have it better than me. Absolutely not! Being present and offering an ear to someone else surely gets me out of my own BS.
  • Staying True to Commitments – Life continues no matter what. Suit up and show up, even if it is just to shut up…
  • Focus – When we are emotional, we can certainly be effective. We have emotional energy. Use it!

And personally, most importantly:

There are no victims, only volunteers

I took a 2-month trip to South America to be alone for a while and reflect. Speaking with my boyfriend on the phone, I recognized that I didn’t handle the summer of 2018 so well. But now I was getting a do-over – celebrating Summer Solstice the second time. I was not going to let history repeat itself twice in one year!

Suddenly, I observed how I had re-developed the victim role. WITAF?!!
I had been playing victim during the whole summer in the states! What an effin’ waste of time! Precious time, I might add.

Just to be clear, there are benefits of being a victim – people feel sorry for me, the person who upset me might send gifts…etc.

Therefore, I took some time to identify the pros and cons of being a victim. Not surprisingly, the cons outweighed the pros. How could I be the warrior queen I say I am and be a victim at the same time? I cannot.

Consequently, I stopped letting people talk to me a certain way. This is not easy. Indeed, it takes courage. But we do teach others how to treat us. Stepping up and standing up for myself is essential.

None of this is new. I have known this for a long time. I guess revisiting this lesson was in order. Just to make sure that being a victim still does not serve me, I’m sure.


bikini-1850726_640

While in Punta Hermosa, Lima, Peru, I rediscovered my courage to face the power of the waves. I have always had a love for swimming in the ocean. But I also have a reverent fear of its strength. I wanted to swim further. Swimming into the waves, I ate shit a few times. Then enjoyed the glory of floating far from the shore… That moment, that day I shed some excess – fear.

Do you “feel” the need to shed excess emotional excess? If so, comment below. And stay blissful my friends.

Short Hair & Other Resolutions

We could all use a little change – Smashmouth

My hair is short today. At the beginning of the year, I had long extensions. They were removed in the Spring. My hair was then just past shoulder length. Not a bad length. But then I got obsessive about my gray hairs and decided to have it colored, then highlighted.

Between all the chemicals and heat styling, my hair started dying. Rapidly. So it had to be cut down. Oh, it will grow again. Maybe.

Oh, and the weight gain…caused another back injury. Just as I arrived in Ecuador. Most of my food goes bad because I buy too much anyway. But I continue to wake up in the middle of the night to sneak Oreos from the pantry. Why are there Oreos in my pantry?!!!

Laundry day has become an all-day event, prompting me to buy more clothes?! Am I the only one?

girl-2705518_640Outward Representations

They say the outward is a direct representation of the inward. This year has proven that statement to be quite fair. I have taken a long inventory of the excess in my life as of late. My physical being told a great story.

Weight (This one Really Hurts)

I had a back injury in 2016. In addition to treatment, I was put on a Ketogenic diet to lose 30 lbs. This was a complete success throughout late 2016 and all of 2017. I felt better than I had in years!

But then, I thought I could have a cookie in 2018…Mind you, I had just begun a new relationship with a wonderful man and lost my soulmate (my dog, Chewy). So much emotion – and this will be another topic in the Shedding the Excess Process.

Because emotion plays right into eating habits for me, by the end of  2018 I had gained 15 of those pounds back. Now that doesn’t seem like much but let me tell you, I injured my back again. Additionally, heartburn and burning mouth syndrome have returned.

The solution to this: Find another healthy eating program. One in which I can afford. I decided upon HIITBURN after completing their questionnaire. For $97.00, I get a personal coach. This is extremely helpful since I travel a lot and cannot go into a clinic for weigh-ins.

Frontpet Pet Carriers


Home

My house in Colorado was difficult to give up. So many memories. My son wanted to buy it to raise my granddaughters in the home they knew so well. Unfortunately, he could not come up with the money in time and my ex-husband was wanting his money.

This proved to be a blessing in disguise. The house did hold many moments in time. And it was time to let those moments go. Just as I had said goodbye to Chewy, I needed to say goodbye to the home I raised him within.

Again, this was an emotional process. I had already minimized so much and moved into an RV. But there was more.

How many of us hold on to a cluttered home because we just cannot let go of the dead energy that we know so well. There is safety in the familiar. I had learned this when I got sober. I had learned this when I got divorced.

I realized that I did not want the responsibility of a mortgage. I didn’t even want the responsibility of digging in roots anymore. It’s time to travel the world. It’s my time. And, it’s time to own it.

House sold.

house-435618_640

SHOES!!

Okay, I have a love-hate relationship with shoes. But especially boots. I have been stalked by shoes and boots on Facebook. But alas, I have no room for all the shoes that I once owned. Furthermore, I don’t need all of them!

Clothes

When I am in my new landing spot in West Texas, I dread laundry day. Packing for my long-term trips around the world is a nightmare.

I had a flannel shirt for 15 years. It served me well until the holes could no longer be mended. After which, trying to find that perfect flannel again took another 15 years. I remember a conversation with my favorite pair of white pants when I was 16. “Okay, I am giving you one more chance to make it right. I’m going to wash you with bleach and if you are still pink when you come out, it’s off to the Segunda for you!”. They came out white again…

I downsized my wardrobe twice in 2018 and have concluded that I need to do this again. But clothing also has an emotional connection. This item was a gift, this other item was something I wore on a special day. How can I hold on to these memories while letting go of the piece of clothing that means so much to me?

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Yoga Practice

How can one practice Yoga too much? When it starts to lean more on either aspect – the physical/spiritual. Yoga burn-out is real. It happens. It was happening to me. Just after a great year of taking two additional Yoga Teacher Trainings.

It was time to change it up. I had no choice but to do so when I injured my back. Taking a look at the many different practices:

  • Hatha
  • Iyengar
  • Restorative
  • Yin
  • Kundalini

I landed back on Kundalini because, though it can be physical, it is also less stressful on the back for some reason. I found a lovely 40-day Kundalini for weight loss program. What I started to see as a continual topic through this program was “Shedding the Excess”.


This is just a small piece of the pie. (oh, I want pie).  There’s much more excess to cut:


People are flocking to the Minimalist Movement. But do they really know why it is so appealing? Do they understand the philosophy behind this movement? Or is this just another pop-cultural thing to do? Another “Shiny Object” to play with for a while?

For me, it has become a new prana. The only way to truly breathe now. And I realized this when I looked in the mirror and saw that my hair is short today.

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Things People are Asking

…What they are asking me – the woman who is traveling alone. Their Questions and my answers.

I’m in my second year post-divorce. What have I learned? So much, I have to gather my thoughts quite often.

I have learned that I enjoy traveling. I love to travel with the boyfriend. I love to travel alone. Presently, I am in the midst of a 2 1/2 month solo visit to South America.


Unusual Lifestyle?

I am also learning how this new lifestyle scares the hell out of some people. Or at least confuses the hell out of them. It’s become a fun little game of question and answer… or unsolicited statement and unsolicited reply.

  1. Next time you should experience this with someone you love.
    1. I am experiencing this with someone I love – Me.
  2. Who is driving you around?
    1. The bus driver.
  3. Be careful!!
    1. Of course.
  4. Aren’t you lonely?
    1. Sometimes. But everyone should experience loneliness from time to time. It helps one appreciate the presence of others.
  5. Do you need help with that?
    1. I sure do. Thank you!
  6. Do you miss home?
    1. I am home.

So, I don’t mind the questions or comments. Like everything else in my life, I just have fun with them!

 

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Ultimately, I am having a fine time. Meeting new friends. Staying in and binge-watching shows without being judged. Walking through city squares at night, people watching. Lots of Café con Leche!

Ecuador has become my new favorite place. Olon, in particular. But Lima, Peru has its charm as well.

 

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Staying Connected

My daughter and I have a scheduled weekly chat to check in about our lives and new adventures. And there’s the occasional text to and from my sons. My oldest will be joining me in Peru to celebrate Christmas. I miss my kids. Yet, I am so happy that they are all living their truth. Experiencing their personal journeys.

I really miss my granddaughters deeply. Thankfully, they are in good hands. My son and his wife are an excellent team as parents.

I really really miss the boyfriend. Fortunately, we have this understanding: We welcome these pauses in our relationship. No, It’s not an open relationship. We just are okay being apart and being alone at times.


Plans and Lessons

There were many plans made for this trek through South America. Unfortunately, it didn’t all work out according to said plans. But it never does. The back is injured again, interrupting surfing lessons. And I was doing so well! So I guess I will try again next year. 2019 is on its way, regardless of whether I give it permission to do so.

Then there’s the “shedding the excess” lessons. This need is surely what this trip is uncovering. And I have learned, more importantly, to ask myself some questions:

  1. Are you being you – living your truth?
  2. Are you living according to your values?
  3. Have you reviewed your values lately?
  4. Can you be happy regardless of any circumstance?
  5. Are you sincerely ready to let go of the past?

These questions are being answered along this journey through South America. I guess discovery is what adventure is all about, right? Stay Blissful My Friends. – e