Get rid of stuff and free yourselves dude!


Hey!!!  I am writing this evening from the lake ūüėÄ  I have to say that car living is so far so GREAT!  Knock on wood I haven’t had any issues so here is to keeping the good going good!

I have been thinking about all that I have given up and the freedom that has come with that.  One may say, “Lori you don’t have any kids nor a husband, how much more freedom does one need?!”  Well freedom from material things is completely different than an absence of a partner or children.  Whether we are ready to admit or not we DON”T NEED all the MATERIAL things that we have.  The more you have the more those things are capable of cluttering your mind.

I am not the first one to completely down size nor am I some kind of life decluttering guru but take a look around your place and take in all that you have.  I can safely bet that most of you don’t use all that you have.  I know I didn’t.  I had two closets and a small storage space filled with stuff that had been following me around from city to city for the past 11 years!  Holy crap, 11 years!  When you learn to part with things, you add more and more freedom to your life.  I believe everything has energy.  People, places and things all carry some form of energy.  Things take up your energy.  All those extra gizmos and gadgets that you have in your home take up YOUR ENERGY, they take up space.  I will never forget the time one of my nephews said to me, “Aunt Lori, I like that house you lived in out in the country.  It was clean and spacious.  My mind felt better there.”  I kid you not that is what he said.  And it’s true.  I lived in a nice home with beautiful furniture and kept things at a minimum.  My partner (at the time) and I kept a clean clutter free home as he and I liked an order to things.  Not in a rigid way but in a “the less we have the less we have to clean and take care of way!

Now I am not telling you to sell or donate all your stuff and move into your car like I did!  But how much do you really need to be happy?  I think you’d surprise the heck out of yourself.  People back in the old days worked harder and had way less stuff then we do now.  They knew the value of the stuff they had in their life and spent their free time with people, connecting.  Also the stuff that they worked hard for was awesome quality stuff that was built to last.  Unlike the cheap flimsy stuff that fills up stores now.  Also they were way less lazy.  They did for themselves and if they needed help they could call upon their neighbors because they made connections with them.

I love my mom!  However, my mom spends such an excessive amount of time on her phone.  She is addicted!  Sadly most people are these days.  Instead of people asking about the other’s interest we ask, “Hey did you see that thing on Facebook?!  Here let me show you!”  I would love to have a conversation with one of my friends and them not check their phone at least twice during dinner or coffee.

Back to downsizing…

I have my shirts, pants and sweatshirts in a 12″x 36″ bin,  a smaller bin for socks and underwear, a hanging toiletry bag, a small library, a glass gallon water jug, a yoga mat, 2 pairs of shoes and my dry bag of coffee, fuel and a pocket stove in my trunk.  I go to the market every morning for fresh fruits and veggies for the day.  I sleep like a rock in my foldout bed!

We don’t need all the extra crap in our lives but we have been sold on the lie that we do.

What we need is more awareness with the people in front of us and time with ourselves disconnected from technology instead of us disconnecting from others and ourselves.

I am trying to live the best version of my true self. I am much happier and freer than I was living in a cute apartment filled with lots nonsensical stuff.

Now quit reading this and start freeing your mind!

~L

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

The Ebb and Flow of Life: Let Them Go (the soul suckers) and Let it Flow (the positive energy).

 


It’s spring and the flowers and trees are blooming with renewed life and the smell of fresh cut grass is in the air!  The sun, holy cow the sun is back baby!!  This is a great time for a little self realization.   Here’s mine… (please read this with sincerity, humor and a learning curve.)

Lately (as in the past few years)  I’ve been periodically stuck in others negative energy and have intermittently lost my focus.  It isn’t their fault, it’s mine.  I’m not talking about just one person.  I’m talking about a few people who have been in my life for a little while now.  This solid meditation practice that I have can sometimes disappear when I need it most, into thin air just like a ghost!  (#iloverhyming ūüėÜ)

What happens when you get caught up in others negative energy and why does it happen?  Well first let’s talk about why.

Dudes, I am a helper.  I want to help you cross the street, open a jar of pickles for you, get you through a life crisis, tell you your fly is down, listen to your problems, meditate with you, tuck your shirt tag in, make you smile on a particularly crappy day, hug you, do your dishes, hangout with you when I just want to go to bed, get you through the moment with fresh brewed coffee and LOTS of nature.  I will listen to you until I’m blue in the face.  And sometimes I become romantically involved because I fall for the tragedy aaaand I feel needed by you. (<–I know what my issues are…lol)

But guess what?!?!?!  I’m not a therapist.  I know right?.. You totally thought I wasūüėÜ.  I don’t have a license, a certificate nor anything of the sort.   When I finally do wake up and realize that the line between being a good friend and getting involved too deeply (a.k.a. therapist/and or lover) has been crossed, well it’s too late.  I’m already all in.  When in reality I’m not in at all.  I’m on the sidelines of their life and I’m only called into the game when the score is so darn low and they just need a body because the star player is exhausted from trying too hard to prove to everyone they are awesome but they aren’t that awesome because they are clearly losing the game.  (Obvious tidbit: Star player being themselves, the soul sucker.)

So why are these types of people attracted to me?  Well I have been told it is because I’m optimistic, carefree, fun loving, kind, strong and independent.  (also I like to be needed [bad I know])  There is something they see in me that they are missing in their own life and they will suck you dry until they can get their hands on just a piece of your whimsical free lovin’ soul.  They will prey upon your “helper” personality because it temporarily relieves them of their own internal hellish crisis.

Here’s what’s obvious but I feel needs to be said.  You can’t bring anyone happiness if they aren’t happy with themselves or aren’t willing to receive it.  

Total “duh” moment I know…ūüôĄ

 

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“If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can’t help but learn.” ~Bernie Siegel, M.D.

This is where the soul suckers come in.  But first the definition (this is my own made up definition so don’t go all “legal” on me..lol) of a Soul Sucker: one who depletes you of your positive energy so they may live in happiness for the moment before returning to lives they are not happy with and the negative energy that surrounds them.  Soul suckers are either too proud or too stuck or both, to want to change themselves for the better.  They see no way out of the situation and therefore they cling onto others.   Helpers are the “pill” they pop to get them through the day.
Now I’m not saying these people are total and complete turds.  Some have been through very very very rough times.  However that does not give anyone the “I have free pass to act like this because my past is so tragic” card.  Everyone has a past and a lot have one that was not fair but that does not excuse horrible or bad behavior over an extended period of time.  Soul suckers don’t want to be soul suckers.  These are people that are so stuck in their own junk that they don’t feel as if there is a way out and they morph into soul suckers.

I’m not telling anyone how to overcome fear, grief, loss, loneliness, abandonment or depression.  I have just finally realized that don’t have the tools nor the education to help beyond a listening ear for a short period of time.  When someone keeps telling you the same story or the same “oh woe is me” tale, it’s time to go.  (The only thing I want on repeat is my favorite song while attempting to lift weights. ūüėú)  No one should deplete your positive vibes.

Keep those positive vibes rollin’!

  Go ahead people, share those positive vibes but know when to move on or else your positive will turn to negative and it can take some time before your higher energy frequency returns.  And don’t worry about that person after you choose to cut those ties.   Wish them love, peace and clarity and release them.  They will either find peace or find another person with a high positive energy level to prey upon because they aren’t yet ready (consciously or subconsciously) to seek the true help they so really do need.  (we all need help, some just more than others.)

Obvious tidbit:  I am not perfect.  I have my own issues to deal with.  I have total crappy moments that can last several days!  Think of mid-winter, no sun (and you’ve forgotten there ever was one), period, no date nor prospect of one on the horizon and/or the need to eat so I may hibernate all winter like a bear.  Yes, bad moments can last. I myself went through a super very very very crappy time forever ago and it affected my life in many ways.  It was horrible and it took a loooong time to come to terms with, but I never intentionally hurt anyone.

What I’m saying here is that you have to keep yourself in the forefront at all times.  Being around that negative energy can make you do things you never thought you would.  This is why I say they suck you dry because it’s then, when you have nothing left, that you surrender to their lip service.   You believe what they say.  You enter their world of perpetual sadness and selfishness.  When you do reach your breaking point you are so ready to let go and you see the light and run towards it full speed ahead.  But don’t think you’ll get there scott free.  There are still feelings of “what if”,  abandonment, loneliness, shame and just feeling bummed.  Don’t fear my peeps.  If you are a naturally happy loving person you’ll sooner rather than later realize that you feel better when they aren’t in your sphere.  You’ll want to surround yourself with positive people and those positive people will only lift your spirits higher.   Which brings me to this:  If someone doesn’t voluntarily celebrate you and your accomplishments and dreams, then see ya later alligator.  If you have to convince someone to spend time with you, then ciao dude I gotta go.  If someone can’t make the effort to be there for/with you if they are sure they won’t be getting anything in return then take that red flag and haul butt as far away from them as possible.

You have to know when to hold em’know  when to fold em’, know when to walk away and know when to run…thank you Kenny Rogers!!!!!

These are hard lessons people!  The heart is complex strong willed organ and sometimes your head has to step in and say,  “Look stupid, Brain here, I can’t take much more of this and the rest of us, muscles, bones and nerves need a break!”

Does this mean that you give up on those soul sucking people?  NO WAY DUDE!   You keep them in your meditations and prayers but only wishing them mental clarity, love and peace.  No dwelling on what was or what could have been if only things were different.  MOVE ON.  By keeping the negative energy around you, you block the positive from coming in.  Like the old saying, “misery loves company.”

One day you will be able to be friends with these people.  You’ll be able to put the past aside and embrace them.  For right now though they are not contributing to your life in a positive way.  It’s like being at a bakery, everything tastes so good until it makes you sick.

I choose to divert my path towards positive energy.  Maybe one day they will rejoin you on your path, your positive path.

Until then keep your mind free of negative clutter, embrace positive people, love like a wild person, point your face towards the sun and let it flow flow flow.  Recreate yourself, renew yourself, put yourself first, make amends where needed and move forward.

Love, peace and everything in between,

Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadworth Longfellow (clearly this dude practiced meditation!)

 

Where I left a bit of my spirit. Extraordinary Montana: Part 3


riverlove
The love of my life right now

I nestled into my warm sleeping bag on a very crisp (puffy jacket kind of crisp morning!) making sure I was tucked below the rocks far enough so no one from the road could see me. ¬†The rock ledge was just wide enough for me to lay. ¬†In this spot I spent a few mornings drawing, writing, napping and sitting in wonderment about this little spot I found. ¬†My mind instantly stopped racing about all the things I wanted to do and see while in Glacier. ¬†In an instant, nature stopped me in my tracks and erased all other things from my mind. ¬†The flow of the swiftly moving water came around the bend pillowing over a few large embedded rocks and then dramatically slowed down as if to lazily pool in the curve of the river. ¬†That is where I was tucked. ¬†Into the curve of the river where the water took it’s time dancing around the eddies hanging out before moving on down stream. ¬†I so wanted to jump in! ¬†Just to be one with the river for a brief moment. ¬†I could picture myself being alive 150 years ago, laying in this same spot. ¬†No cars going by up above on the road, just me in the water swimming and being free…

 

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The water here is so clear and crisp.  If I had the guts I would have taken a dip but it was very cold in the mornings and I was happy and comfy in my sleeping bag.

I listened, I mean really listened, to the beautiful sounds of nature all around me.  The flowing water, chipmunks scurrying, all sorts of birds who were busy calling out into the morning and the wind blowing through the river valley.  Imagine the most picturesque nature montage from a movie then times that by a million.

There are some things I want to hold sacred so I am going to end this post here. ¬†I do not want to provide details to exactly where along the road this place is. ¬†Maybe one day you will go there with me. ūüėČ

Have a beautiful weekend ūüėÄ

~Lori

“Give what you have. ¬†To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Life (for a couple weeks anyways) on the road :)

 

Do you see that cloud?!  That cloud is a map of the United States, Canada and part of Mexico.  How awesome is that?!  I saw this cloud as I was driving through Montana, the state where I born.  ūüėÄ  Yes, I was just a baby when we moved but none the less I can claim to be a native!

FINALLY the time has come for me to be on VACATION!!!  You know how you count down the days until your vacation starts but once it arrives it seems like some sort of dream?  That’s what it totally felt like for me.  It didn’t actually hit me that I was on vacation until I was driving out of Ohio.  This trip is taking me through the northern part of the U.S.A.  There are 2 main destinations on this trip. 1.  To see one of my very best friends Shannon and 2. To finally make it up to Glacier National Park!  Shannon lives in Oregon and even when I lived in California I never made it up to Oregon.  Although… I did almost move there post whitewater rafting accident but decided on staying in California.  Good decision?… who knows?!

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Open road and a semi buggy windshield…lol
People kept asking me, “Why don’t you just fly?”  Great question people but the answer leaves a lot of people shaking and scratching their heads in disbelief.  I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE driving across country!  People then asked, “Someone is driving with you, right?”  Nope!  I have driven across country solo a few times before so it isn’t anything new nor is it scary to me.  People say flying is so much quicker, flying is so much cheaper and my personal favorite, driving is so boring.  Okay, okay… the first two are true.  Flying is way quicker and much cheaper but the third is SO not true for me.  Then people ask me if I get lonely out on the road.  It is very seldom that I get lonely while road tripping.  Would I love to have an amazing, adventurous, spontaneous and fun loving boyfriend to travel with?  Um…yeah!  It would be so great to share experience, the cost of everything, the driving, the set up of tents, picture taking and such but I’m sure as heck not going to wait around for Mr. Right to show up just so I can travel the way I love to travel!

Driving across this amazing land is a privilege and I am so lucky to be able live here as a free citizen and experience all the different landscapes these states have to offer!  What other country in the world can you experience all the different types of climate?  Between Friday and today I drove though a temperate humid climate, desert climate and temperate rain forest climate and that took less than 5 days!

So let me start this journey with you…

I woke up Friday the 30th of July and headed out of Ohio.  I packed only what could fit in the hatchback of my car.  I like to keep things neat and tidy when I travel!  Clutter in the car equals clutter in the mind…. and me no like clutter…LOL!  Heading out of Ohio was uneventful as was Indiana and Illinois (both beautiful in their own right.)  Although it took me a while to get through both states due to construction.  I looked at google maps ahead of time and wow…what a difference 10 years makes!  10 years ago there really wasn’t a google maps.  I headed to the west coast (to live) with an actual paper map!  I still love paper maps and almost prefer them because I think paper maps take a skill that is long lost on the newer generations.  Skills such as cardinal directions, legends and topography interpretation.  Now google maps tells ya the quickest route, traffic and construction!

About 12 years ago I drove the northern route out to the Badlands of South Dakota and then up through Wyoming and the lower part of Montana.  I took the almost the same route this time because it was the quickest and I really wanted to get out to Oregon.  I am going to mosey my way back through Washington and Montana once I leave Oregon. Wisconsin and Minnesota are so beautiful!  Rolling farms, views that go on forever and just the simplicity of the land.  Driving though those two states is very calming.

 

Minnesota and Wisconsin

I was SOOOOO excited to see Caribou Coffee that I literally screamed aloud when I saw the sign on the highway!  My girlfriends and I always used to go to Caribou when they were open in Ohio.  Caribou had such a friendly and cabin cozy atmosphere and it has yet to be rivaled by any coffee shop in the Cleveland area.  Erie Island is awesome and my new favorite but definitely not as cozy or friendly as Caribou Coffee… ūüė¶  The giant load on the truck looks like a huge wheel of cheese and since I was stuck in a little bit of traffic in the cheese state capitol of the U.S. I thought I’d snap a funny picture!  lol…  I also love that there is a city somewhere in Minnesota called Blue Earth!  It sounds like it would be a cool place to visit!

I spent the night at a KOA in Minnesota and it was nice to wake up a take a warm shower.  Props to the KOA I stayed at because the shower heads were amazing!!!  I will say that this KOA was next to a highway and it was awfully loud.  I ended up going into my car in the middle of the night just to dampen the noise.  Ever since I started hammock camping I really dislike sleeping on the hard ground.  The car didn’t offer a better nights sleep either.  Oh well…that’s life on the road!

 

South Dakota

 

South Dakota will always be one of the most sacred and beautiful places to me.  12 years ago I traveled to The Badlands in South Dakota on a sort of spiritual pilgrimage.  I was searching for a spiritual practice and started reading a book called Black Elk Speaks.  This book opened my eyes and my heart and was the reason that I traveled to The Badlands.  The rest of that story I will keep to myself for now….I am sure I will share later!

Dudes…when you get to western Minnesota you will see your first sign for Wall Drug.  Then for the next 400 or so miles there will be a crap ton of billboards of all shapes and sizes advertising a free doughnut and a 5‚äĄ cup of coffee!  5‚äĄ cup of coffee?????? Heck YES PLEASE!!!!  Well the coffee if 5 cents if you sit down in the restaurant.  I bought mine to go as I have already wandered around Wall Drug before and it is very touristy and very crowded.  Definitely a must see if you have never been out that way!  You almost feel like a jerk if you don’t stop by because they goad you with cute and welcoming signs for 400 hundred miles!  I don’t want to dampen their efforts…so I always stop by when I am in the neighborhood ūüėÄ

After I left South Dakota I cut through the upper northeast corner of Wyoming.  Wyoming so much to see and I definitely recommend getting out there to visit but on this trip I took the quickest way to Oregon.

I am going to skip over my drive through Montana as I will be spending a majority of my time there and will write about it at length later.  I am heading out of Oregon tomorrow morning and making my way there!  I cannot wait!!!!

Next up Oregon!  To be continued….

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling…

 

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I woke up with the sun filtering through the canopy of trees dripping with morning dew.  That morning was peaceful, beautiful and quiet with exception of the fellow forest animal and insect dwellers scurrying around.  Just how I like to wake up, with trees all around and the promise of something amazing happening that day.

Several years ago I took my first solo trip out west. ¬†I had just read a book that inspired me to take off ¬†to seek and explore areas of this amazing country that I never had been. ¬†Well I am about to do that again. ¬†This time it isn’t a book that is getting me out there. ¬†It is the story of me. ¬†What I believe, think, FEEL, LOVE, admire. ¬†My desire to drive countless hours and nestle in to the backdrop of this land that I love. ¬†I am going to different places I have never been. ¬†I am going to wake up to new vistas, hear new sounds and meet new people. ¬†I am going to snap pictures of beautiful places and faces. ¬†I am going to write. ¬†I am going to listen to the stories of the locals. ¬†I am going to laugh with people I meet.

Most importantly I am going to meditate.  I am going to reflect upon my life and where it is going.  What I need, want, cannot live without, what I can live without.  What makes me happy.  What makes me peaceful inside.  I am going to take my trusty dirt stained yoga mat and roll it out on ridges, rocks, hills and mountains.  I am going to take in the morning air and send copious amounts of gratitude out into the universe.

I love the open road…to be continued..

~Lori

“Give what you have. ¬†To someone, it may better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

Sun and Inspiration


Truth is, I haven’t been inspired to write anything for a while now.  Not sure if it was a lack of adventure in the winter time, endless days of no sun or a combination of both.  Combination of both.  I cannot say that I did a whole lot of adventuring lately.  Anyways today is the first day in a long time that I have felt like writing anything.

I woke up Saturday morning and the sun was shining bright through my apartment warming the floors and my inner sense of peace.   I did my usual routine of dusting the sleep out of my eyes, washing dishes and putting the kettle on to brew coffee in the french press.  I did some yoga while waiting for the kettle to whistle (dudes I am stiff!)  I also flipped through a couple of pages of the latest Patagonia catalog.  Inspiration can always be found in there and this time it lit a little bit of a fire inside of me.  Sometimes I rip out a few pages and put them on my fridge.  When I lose inspiration I have a couple of reminders staring me in the face of what I love about my life and what I aspire to.  ūüėÄ

 

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I started back rock climbing a couple of months ago.  Starting back out was humbling as all get out.  My arms were like wet noodles and muscles that I had forgotten existed were screaming at me, but over time I have been getting a little stronger and stronger and that has been feeling real good.  Friday my friend Jon and I climbed outside for the first time this year and it was awesome!  The sun was warm, the rock was dry and it was quiet.  I LOVE climbing outside as you get to pick your own route and you can climb the same area a million different ways.  Just now as I type, I checked in with my buddy Dave and he sent me a photo of him and a few others gearing up to climb at the New River Gorge in West Virginia.  I couldn’t make it this weekend due to prior obligations but I am sooooooo jealous right now!  It is cool though because next weekend we are heading down to the Red River Gorge, KY!

By no means am I good climber right now.  I am weak, stiff and I get pumped (pumped is when your forearms burn out) so easy.  Most of all my breathing is total crap as I climb.  I get anxious and my breathing becomes erratic.  Shane the manager at Cleveland Rock Gym was helping me with this one particular bouldering problem a few weeks back and as soon as I got off the wall his advice for me was not foot placement nor hand placement but he said, “You have to breathe Lori.”  Since then I have been trying to do just that.

I miss climbing in California.  The weather is almost always perfect and you can climb outside all year long.  The climbing gyms open up at 6:30am so you can get your climb on before work which I totally love because I am waaaay better in the mornings than in the evenings.  My energy is full throttle when I wake up most mornings and I usually pewter out about 5pm.

You don’t have to climb rocks or backpack through the woods.  Just being out in nature will erase tension and worries.

This weekend in Cleveland was just awesome.  Bright sun, warm temps and endless things to do outside.  I was fortunate enough to hang out with new friend I met through my backpacking group.  ūüôā  Luda and her husband came to an event a couple of weeks ago and her and I were able to connect and get together for some girl talk and coffee on Sunday.  She is a pretty cool person and I looking forward to hanging out and having new fun workout friend!

Friday my best friend Sara and I went to the listen to the Cleveland Orchestra and hung out again Sunday morning with her 2 girls at the beach and playground!  Saturday my niece Kelly and I went for a bike ride/jog in the park.  We hiked up to a spot where we could watch the planes fly over really low upon landing.  Kelly thought is was super cool and I NEVER EVER get tired of it!  I also hung out with my awesome folks too.  All in all this weekend was pretty darn awesome!

Life seems fuller right now and it feels good.  There are some things on the horizon that are going to be challenging but beneficial.  It feels good to put words on the page again.  Inspiration is blooming!

Life is not black and white.  We have to constantly move forward and explore aspects of our lives that may seem scary.  I believe that is how we set an example of love, adventure and continuous learning.  Sometimes things ARE meant to come to an end.  Not because you didn’t try hard enough, just simply because things have run their course.  I don’t have a desire to be stagnant/complacent.  Not at the expense of myself or the people I love, it wouldn’t do anyone any good in the long run.  Love yourself first… get to know yourself.

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

 

Lol.. taking life in strides…and the power of meditation


Meditation-quote-David-Lynch
aboutmeditation.com

 

Hello everyone! ¬†I hope this Friday finds you all ready for a relaxing peaceful weekend ūüôā ¬†I know I started mine last night with evening meditation and a bit of yoga.

1/2 marathon training has come to a bit of a halt. ¬†I was speaking with a few physical therapists from work and they all agreed that I need to totally lay off the running and high impact cardio and make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. ¬†My usual one does not treat shin splints and I am a bit bummed because I like her style of practice. ¬†The up side? ¬†I have an appointment with the orthopedic doctor who treats the Cleveland Browns! ¬†I am not messing around dudes! ¬†I want to get this taken care of properly and with doctors that know really know¬†their stuff! ¬†Until then it’s more yoga, stretching, biking and swimming (swimming will start sometime soon.) ¬†If for some reason this Grand Teton 1/2 marathon does not work out for me there is always the Towpath 1/2 marathon in the fall but I am totally still striving for the Grand Teton one!

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http://www.zenlama.com

I am trying harder all the time to develop a deeper, more consistent and longer meditation practice. ¬†Finding time to meditate can be very hard with working all the hours I do but I decided this year that I am not going to kill myself working. ¬†When I do pick up the extra hours they will be during the week and I will try really hard to keep my weekends for myself. ¬†I did that this week and although I was slap happy by the time 7:30pm came around on Thursday I was more than ready for some quiet time and a 3 day weekend and I am glad I was able to get the extra hours in during my normal work week. ¬†I am very grateful and fortunate to have the schedule that I do and I don’t want to take it for granted and I want to use it wisely.

Meditation….You can meditate anywhere, anytime. ¬†I do not attend any fancy meditation sessions. ¬†I just find a quiet place, find meditation music on Spotify, sit quietly and focus on a mantra and my breathing. ¬†There is a place by me where one can go to meditate and I may check it out just to see if I can develop a deeper practice. Just like yoga, when I go every so often to see what is new and make sure my positioning is aligned correctly. ¬†Finding a quiet place is easy for me at home because I do not own a television and I like it that way. ¬†I like that my place is a place of peace and quiet. ¬†I deal with noise all day long and I like to retreat to a peaceful place. ¬†¬†This morning I woke up and instead of jumping into the car to head to the coffee shop I decided to wait. ¬†I caught myself already getting wrapped up with the question of what am I going to do with my morning? ¬†That’s when I turned off the noise in my head, lit a few candles and sat on my sofa and meditated for 25 minutes. ¬†Although my mind will wonder and wander during meditation, I am getting better at it and can bring myself back quicker than before. ¬†ūüôā

I cannot for the life of me remember where I heard the words this past week so if any of you know who said these words let me know so I may give credit. ¬†Someone said that we should take care of ourselves mentally so we are better able to take care of ourselves physically. ¬†That makes so much sense to me. ¬†I mean the mind and body are one. ¬†Our brain controls every part of us. If we lose brain function then we lose bodily function, if our heart wears out then we lose the oxygen rich blood being pumped to the brain. ¬†Why wouldn’t we “workout” our minds? ¬†Have you ever tried working out and you feel better mentally as well as physically? ¬†It goes BOTH ways. ¬†This morning I was struggling with what to do with my day and also a friend who is having a tough time communicating right now. ¬†Instead of getting wrapped up in things to do and dealing with people, I decided to deal with myself. ¬†I recognized the jumbled mess of thoughts in my brain and realized that I needed to take time out to deal with that before I deal with anything else. ¬†The end result? ¬†I let go of the worry that I had about the friend. ¬†I was able to bring myself to a place where I remembered that we all deal with things differently and that when that person is ready to talk, in their own time, they will reach out. ¬†I cannot control the other person, nor do I want to. ¬†I respect them and their process. ¬†I can only focus on my day and let them go about theirs. ¬†And as far as what to do with my day? ¬†I am here at my favorite coffee shop Erie Island, writing and I am happy about that. ¬†I am not worried about the rest of the day or weekend that lies ahead.

Meditation-quotes-Paramahamsa-Yogananda

 

I will catch up again soon.  Have a beautiful and peaceful day!

Also, congrats to Tom who won the coffee give away!

~Lori

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Sharing stories…


This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark.

This act, the act of quiet night time talking, illustrates for me more than anything else the curious alchemy of companionship.”

~Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage.

I am reading the above mentioned book and I am slowing down my reading of it dramatically because it is one of those books that you don’t want to end. ¬†That aside, the above passage struck me with such force that I had to put the book down and savor those words. ¬†In such times as our current ones when intimacy typically means bra’s, underwear and sex, it is nice to be reminded that other more “innocent” things can be intimate. ¬†The art of conversing in the night with someone that makes you feel alive, safe and/or needed creates a kind and warm intimacy.

Continued from above…

“Because when Felipe described his father’s swimming stroke, I took that watery image and I stitched it carefully into the hem of my own life, and now I will carry that around with me forever. ¬†As long as I live, and even long after Felipe has gone, his childhood memory, his father, his river, his Brazil – all of this, too, has somehow become me.”

Once in a blue moon do I have those beautiful sacred conversations with someone where I carry a part of them with me.  When someone is comfortable enough to share the most intimate parts of their life journey with me, I cannot help but keep it stored in my mind and heart.  There was, are and will be moments in my life where the intimate conversations affect my thoughts and feeling and actions.

I still love to have long conversations face to face with someone. ¬†No phones, no computers, no tablets. ¬†Just two people sitting or laying around talking. ¬†Talking about what ever comes to mind. ¬†Whether it be adventures, life, work, dreams, family, or crazy silly things that comes to mind like airplanes being UFO’s…lol. ¬†You can share those thoughts.

A while ago I had a great night of conversation with a friend.  We talked and laughed and almost peed our pants about so much into the wee hours of the morning!  But, the lovely part was when he opened up to me about the losses in his life.  When someone can share those thoughts and feel free to express those emotions, it means more to me than the rest of the conversation that night.  There was trust.  There was safety inside that space.  There was a friendship that was being built.

I love when people share stories with me.  It means that they trust me and I appreciate that.  Just make sure that that person is willing to hear your stories too.   You know someone is sincere as a friend, significant other or what have you, if they then in turn want to learn and know what is going on with you and really listen attentively.

So invite a friend over or cuddle up with significant other and turn off the electronic devices and connect through conversation. ¬†Also, look them in the eye. ¬†Why are people so afraid of looking at someone while having a conversation. ¬†Is eye contact too intimate? ¬†I don’t think so. ¬†I think it is just respectful. ¬†To see and hear someone is beautiful.

Peace, love and lots of good intimate conversation,

~Lori

“Give what you have. ¬†To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

me 109

Finding inspiration in everyone, everything and everywhere :D


A new discovery!
A new discovery!

So I pride my on really knowing my beloved Rocky River Reservation but today I discovered a place I NEVER knew existed! ¬†So I grew up on the south west side of the park and recently I moved to the north east portion. ¬†So this weekend I have basically spent in bed because I overworked myself these past six weeks to the point of getting sick…I would make the WORST patient! ¬†So, after spending all day indoors and drinking copious amount of water I decided to go for a drive though RRR. ¬†(I am convinced you can flush¬†anything out of your system by drinking TONS of good H2O!)

As I was meandering my way through the park I decided to drive up a road I have never been on. ¬†Hogsback Lane. ¬† I always just figured that it just spit you out onto to some road. ¬†So for poops and giggles today I took a left turn up Hogsback Lane. ¬†To my awesome surprise I discovered a whole new part of the park I have NEVER been to! ¬†First I went up this lane and on my slow drive up the hill I stopped and spotted 12 deer on the hillside! ¬†I have never seen that many deer at one time! ¬†I don’t care what people say… I think they are amazing beautiful creatures ūüôā

So I drove up the hill and discovered Stinchcomb-Groth Memorial Scenic Overlook! ¬†I drove up and saw that there is the huge piece of land I never experienced. ¬†I can’t wait to go explore it in the days ahead! ¬†I didn’t today because I have felt like poop. ¬†I only had it in me to drive… no hiking. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬† I can’t wait to enjoy a sunrise one of these mornings or a sunset one evening up there….aaaahhhhh, nature!

Discovering this little gem inspired me to take a few pictures in park today.

Rocky River Reservation
Rocky River Reservation

055 056 054

These were taken on my much outdated iPhone so I apologize for the quality as they do not capture the beauty of RRR like I would like it to.

Anyways I have found inspiration today and this past week. ¬†A week ago a high school friend passed away and our little town was really taken by his passing. ¬†I went to high school with him and his wife and to say that they were an example of faith, love and family would not do them justice. ¬†He left a legacy that has already inspired everyone I know that knew him to live life with open arms. ¬†Open arms to life, family, faith (whatever yours may or may not be) and to always be there when someone is in need. ¬† I’d like to think that I live this way already but it is nice to see that T.J.’s life was complete in every way. ¬†God took him home because he no longer had work to do here on earth. ¬†His work will continue long after his passing. ¬†Here is a little excerpt from his blog dadfirst.net. ¬†It is titled 39 Things I have Learned to Keep on Keeping On… ¬†They are some pretty great words to live by.

Another inspirational person I came across was Alex Sheen of because i said i would.   I first saw Alex speak at a work fundraiser I attended with my brother.  Alex is a man of such integrity and promise.  He started this social movement because of his late father.  His father was a man of his word.  He kept his promise.  The premise of this site are the promise cards.  They are the size of a business card and you write a promise on them.  For example here is one I wrote to myself the other day.

058

This card can be made out to yourself or to someone else.  The stories on the website because i said i would are so raw and amazing and inspirational.  Here is one that moved me to tears.  It is about Colonel Parker Schenecker and how he is dealing with the loss of his two beautiful children.  Totally worth viewing.  Alex inspired me so much that I have started volunteering at their headquarters.  I really encourage everyone to check out the website and see the amazing things Alex Sheen has done for others.

My niece Molly is also an inspiration to me! ¬†The other morning I drove over to my sister’s house thinking they would all be getting ready for school. ¬†(I am an early bird!) ¬†To my surprise the house was quiet… I didn’t realize they were on spring break! ¬†Oops! ¬†Anyways I woke my almost 14 year old niece Molly (wow! ¬†I still can’t believe she is going to be 14 in two months!) by dancing to an awesome song that popped into my head on the way over to their house. ¬†The song was, I’m Walking On Sunshine. ¬†It is just a fun, upbeat and catchy song and I freakin’ love it! ¬†So Molly and I drove down to the beach to catch the sunrise and every time I talk with her, her spirit just amazes me! ¬†She is in many ways your typical teenager but what I love and find so inspiring about her is that she is her own person. ¬†She is not really a conformist. ¬†She loves what she loves (horses) and she is who she is. ¬†She is intelligent, funny and beautiful. ¬†She inspires me every time we talk and hang out. ¬†I love you Mowgli!!!

Molly!
Molly!

My niece Molly :)

Inspiration can be found anywhere at anytime.  You just have to open your eyes to the beauty around you.  Let the light shine upon you so it can shine through you.

Peace, love and lots of warm sunshine,

~Lori

“Give what you have. ¬†To someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Digging a little deeper, getting a little higher…


suffering

Good Evening Everyone! ¬†I sincerely hope that this work week was good to you all! ¬†I know I am looking forward to a weekend that is filled with relaxation, meditation, family and SLEEP! ¬†Lol….

I want to chat about something, a change to be precise, that has happened internally for me. ¬†I only really figured it out in the past week and I am so excited to share it with you. ¬†Something personal happened in the past week that before would have sent me down a serious road of ¬†self analyzing that in turn would have spurred a serious Q&A session in my head. ¬†I am not going to divulge the personal circumstance. ¬†(I can’t share¬†everything with you all!)

As I have mentioned in a previous post I went through a pretty painful self discovery about 2 years ago. ¬†I ¬†worked really hard to overcome that pain, loss and self-doubt. ¬†I am NOT totally rid of the self-doubt because I believe that will be a work in progress for some time to come at any given point in my life. ¬†Maybe one day I will be enlightened enough to never encounter self-doubt again … um yeah right. ¬†Oh wait, there I go again! ¬†Hahahaha!

I’ll get started….as the quote above states I used to prefer my suffering because it was what I knew. Although I knew I didn’t enjoy it, it was familiar. ¬†It was a protective barrier with giant walls. ¬†If I didn’t break down those walls then I would never get hurt again. ¬†I could live within the safe compound of my suffering. ¬†For as much as an adventurer that I am, I didn’t want to venture personally out of fear of failure, pain and disappointment. ¬†Now the suffering that I went through could be completely different from the kind of suffering that you or someone you know may be going through. ¬† ¬†No matter what it is, it IS possible to overcome and when you least expect you will find yourself one day in a complex situation and your old way of thinking won’t even enter your mind.

One of my great discoveries in this life is Deepak Choprah and his The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. ¬†I bought this book on iTunes and listened to it in my car over and over and over and over again! ¬†To this day I STILL listen to it just to keep myself on track. ¬†Deepak Choprah talks about how you can change your way of thinking by going into the gap, the space between thoughts, “…this space between thoughts is pure consciousness, pure silence, and pure peace. When we meditate, we use an object of attention, such as our breath, an image, or a mantra, which allows our mind to relax into this silent stream of awareness. When thoughts arise, as they inevitably will, we don‚Äôt need to judge them or try to push them away. Instead, we gently return our attention to our object of attention.” ¬†Meditation has also become a go to appreciation, relaxation and inspirational place for me. ¬†Now, I am by NO MEANS a meditating, yogic or spiritual guru. ¬†I am just simply sharing what has worked for me. ¬†I changed my way of thinking by¬†LETTING GO of my old ways of thinking. ¬†The negativity, the self-doubt, the¬†wanting like hell¬†to control the situation, the wanting to force an outcome… ¬†it completely went away for me this time around. ¬†Deepak Choprah says you can do more by doing nothing. ¬†I find that to be very true for me. ¬†I find that if I sit back, don’t judge, don’t force and don’t try to control the situation then things work out exactly how they should¬†without all the anxiety that comes from trying to control, force and judge. ¬†There was a moment this past week where I tried to come up with a solution and implement it. ¬†But it didn’t work. ¬†It would not have worked because I was trying to be in control instead of just¬†being. ¬†I am not perfect at this. ¬†But this past week I felt SOOOOO¬†HAPPY with myself for realizing what was going on and choosing a different approach and response than what I would have before. ¬†I am now able to set positive intentions in my meditations. ¬†Not selfish ones. ¬†Only positive ones that will benefit the greater good of everyone involved.

Now I am just letting my situation unfold exactly how the universe wants it to.  Naturally.  Without human interference, my humanness!

Relationships, life, work, etc. can all change if we decided to change our thoughts and become more self aware.  There are many aspects of my life that I still need to apply this to.  But when it happened this past week I felt like I was on cloud nine!

I may want a certain out come but it may not be the one intended for me.  The difference this time around is that I ACCEPT that!  And that feels pretty damn good!  Here is a great link about acceptance from a Choprah Center newletter.  http://www.chopra.com/files/newsletter/Feb11/Newsletter-Feb11-david.html

(I apparently don’t have the option in insert a hyperlink so you will have to copy and paste it) ¬†ūüė¶

Becoming a happier human is an ever ongoing process that suprises me, enlightens me and makes me hopeful.  I hope this helped in someway for someone out there.

imgfave.com
imgfave.com

Peace, lots of warm sunshine love, and bubbles,

~Lori

“Give what you have. ¬†To someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow