Tag Archives: gratitude

Fly into the Light, Butterfly

Like a worm in a cocoon we are unaware of the transformation taking place until the moment we emerge a butterfly.

As the season that represents the hopes and dreams of the world is upon us once again, I find myself  filled with a hope and joy in my life I haven’t felt since 2003. 12 years in the making. I nearly gave up many times. It has been a long journey; at times very painful. Nonetheless, I have finally arrived. Today, I realized it all at once.

I haven’t been on a solo travel adventure  in some time.  As I left my house this morning my luggage lightly packed to leave room for possibilities, I stood on my front porch and taking a deep breath I thought – you’re really happy aren’t you?

I am at peace.  I finally care about something again.  In my teaching, I have purpose.  They help me be a better person and I help them too. I have great friends. I haven’t found that one special guy yet, but I’m enjoying dating 4 different men of interest in the meanwhile 🙂  I make a good salary finally and found a way to make extra money and paid off all my student loans.  I am debt free.  In 3 months I took my 7th graders to great success in an engineering competition where they were 5 of only 12 students in two counties to be awarded “outstanding engineers” and have lunch with the Chief Scientist of NASA. My life is on the rise again after fighting in the trenches so long. 12 long years.

I’m estranged from my mother who left me on Mother’s day, yet to return again. I have made peace with her choice and learned there are some things you cannot control.  One of those things is how people choose to behave and interact with the world.  Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is to let them go. Many times she asked me to leave her life. I wasn’t listening.  Now I hear loud and clear.  At about the same time my ex-boyfriend had left and my pet of 16 years died.  The timing of those two relationships ending was the peak of the tragedy over these 12 years. I spent much of the summer recovering from two big blows. I was really alone with myself once again.

After I came out of it all, I began to map out how I wanted the future to look. I became very clear on what I would and would not accept into my life. I thought a lot about what I wanted to focus on.  I made a plan. I stayed focused.  And you know what? I’ve been knocking it out of the park.  My goals are from my soul so working towards them feels in harmony with who I am.  When I FEEL that connection, I know I’m on the right path.

I also made the choice to have a serious talk with my doctor to manage a debilitating health concern when I finally couldn’t continue to have any quality of life without beginning medication. It is something that no one knows about and I’ve kept private for a very long time.

“Coming out”, if you will, freed my soul and allowed me to accept the whole me. Walking into the sunlight helped me love myself better.  In the end seeking treatment instead of suffering all these years was a great act of self-love.  Everyday I am happy I made the choice and my only wish is that I had made it sooner. That conversation with my doctor saved my life.

So, now I head to the red rocks and sunshine of health-conscious Sedona to introduce myself to the world of butterflies.  A new beginning; surrounded by some of the best of natures’ creation, I will spread my newborn wings and fly towards that which brings joy, peace, and health.  I look forward to witnessing the vastness of the Grand Canyon and drinking in the elixer of possibility seeing both my smallness and my greatness at once.

As  I go into the new year, I have but one resolution – to keep flying towards the light.

—- With love this holiday season from aneternaltraveler ❤

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Gratitude Challenge Day 30 of 30!!

Gratitude Challenge Day 30 (Final Day) – Gratitude for Myself

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Sometimes it is really hard to talk about yourself. Other times you think that maybe you have so many shortcomings that there’s not much about yourself to be grateful for. If you’ve been through the school of hard knocks you may just be so used to getting knocked around that you’ve forgotten how many times you’ve gotten back up again.

I find that I often only realize the level of determination I possess after I hear somone elses reaction to the stories of my life. I realize how capable, versatile and resiliant I really am. I have the ability to transform myself and adapt to every life change I’ve faced thus far. I feel like I’ve reinvented myself many times over. At the same time, this is the very first time in my life that I know who I am and have accepted myself completely (warts and all).

I’ve learned to respect the hard times I’ve faced because they’ve taught me more about the core of WHO I am. I also appreciate my zest for life and the child-like awe that I’ve kept with me along the way. I love that I can keep smiling even when I’m not feeling that great because I know it feels better than a sad face. I still laugh loudly having never learned to be embarrased by my hearty laughter. I am helpful, kind, compassionate, and filled with love. I am growing and getting to know myself more every day.

I have had to learn to be grateful for the person that I am. It hasn’t been automatic. But as I have gotten to know her better, I’m awfully glad she’s in my corner.

Thank you for coming along with me during this 30 day challenge. I hope that you enjoyed your trip and perhaps were inspired even a little to start a gratitude journey of your own. 

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 29 of 30

Challenge Day 29 – Gratitude for Self-Care

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One of the biggest challenges I faced after getting divorced 3 years ago was learning how to care for myself. I am not talking about understanding how to pay bills or take a shower. I’m talking about things like how to say ‘NO’ and pampering myself. I am referring to knowing when compromise is no longer an option and walking away is the only right thing left to do.

It is easier said than done. Many times we think we’re taking care of ourselves better than we really are. For example, have you ever listened to the kinds of things you say to yourself in your own head?? If that were an actual person in front of you, would you take that crap? I sure hope not! But that’s the kind of stuff I’m referring to.

While self-care is bubble baths, workouts at the gym and others kinds of me time, it is also learning to be your own best friend no matter what. It is learning to be happily alone – to enjoy your own company.

It has been a long road to get to that point and while I still have my struggles with taking better care of myself, I’m miles ahead of where I used to be.

Now I find myself 3 years later embarking upon a new chapter in my life- I am once again in a serious relationship. This will be a test to see how I manage being together with someone again after learning to care for myself alone. I will have to stay conscious of caring for my needs and expressing them to my partner so I can work to have them met. Afterall, I sure don’t want to lose myself again.

When I care for myself I am better off and so are the people in my life because they witness the real me.

I am no martyr. I am no savior. I have no interest in either job. I am just another messed up person like you trying to find her way in this big mad world. Taking care of myself just means I leave fewer messes behind for others to clean in the wake of my existence.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 25 of 30

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Challenge Day 25 of 30 – Gratitude for Movement

My grandmother used to say that we were gypsies because we loved to travel so much in our family. Or maybe we are like sharks we need to move to stay alive. Nonetheless, I travel anytime I get the chance. I love to explore the world around me, learn new things, and meet new people.

But it goes much further than this.

I really enjoy being physically active; enjoying such activities as dancing, walking, hiking, biking, etc. etc. It is hard to imagine my life without movement playing a big part.

I am grateful that I can move through this world and I pray that I will always be able-bodied enough to move no matter the age. To me,  movement is life.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 🙂

Gratitude Challenge Day 21 of 30

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Challenge Day 21 of 30 – Gratitude for Passion

Most of my life I had passion for one thing or another. I was driven to achieve, I believed in the promise of a better future, and had no idea how much I’d taken that all for granted.

For a couple years before the end of my marriage, I felt more and more distant from myself. For the next few years afterwards, I desperately sought out my passion. Where had my drive gone? Where was my zest for life? I had no dreams, no goals, no motivation. I was so depressed and at times even suicidal. Where have I gone and how do I find myself again?

I didn’t recognize myself this way. Since I didn’t know what made me feel this way for most of my life, I hadn’t a clue how to get back to it. I just knew that my life had no meaning without that passion in it. Life without meaning is damn hard to live.

Finally, two things happened; I went on the Camino de Santiago and later fell in love. Both healed my heart, helped me work through my hurt, allowed me to let down my burdens. Both are still helping me to become a better person.

When I lightened my load and opened my heart, it turns out that love and forgiveness were the main ingredients that brought back my passion.

I am deeply grateful that I have passion back in my life. I am blessed to have alowed love to redeem me and give me my life back even better than it was before.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 17 of 30

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Day 17 of 30 – Gratitude for something that makes me smile

The kindness of others without fail makes me smile: A hug when you need one, a thoughtful gesture, a small gift that brightens your day.

Gratitude for every little thing that brings beauty into my life and for all the ways that this challenge is bringing more smiles into my life.

I smile more in general now. During the past few years I’ve had a lot more frowns than smiles. It is so nice to see that trend changing.

It is interesting to realize that the more you are grateful, the more you smile. The more you smile, the easier things seem to go. The easier things go, the more you believe good things will continue to happen.

And that’s a lot to smile about 😆

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 💖

Gratitude Challenge Day 15 of 30 – Music

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Day 15 – Gratitude for Music
I can’t imagine my life without music. It has been a part of every single high and low throughout my life. It has saved my mind, body and soul.  It is in me, runs through me, and pours out of me.

Music is my father, my mother, my sister, my brother and my lover. It has raised me, nurtured me, hidden and revealed the truth from me, held me, loved me, fed me. It has never left me no matter how I arrived at its door.

No matter who comes into or out of my life, he is always my faithful companion.

Gratitude for all that music is to me fails to express the full depth of its place in my life. I literally can’t even imagine the point of my life without it.

-with gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 13 of 30 – Smells

wpid-screenshot_2014-08-16-19-49-03-1.pngDay 13 of 30 – Smells I am grateful for.

When I first read this, the resident-8-year-old-boy-part-of-me imagined making fart sounds and imagining how grateful I am for the smells.  After I got that out of my system, the grown-up part took over and made a list.

I am grateful for the smell of…..

  • Fresh cut grass
  • The soapy smell of a man freshly out of the shower
  • Laundry fresh from the wash line
  • Lillies, tea roses and lavender
  • The unique scent of my lover & the way it makes my heart race
  • My wood floors cleaned with liquid lavender castille soap
  • Musky perfume
  • Home-made food
  • Morning coffee brewing in my kitchen
  • Arm deodorant
  • Opening a fresh jar of peanut butter
  • Pizza
  • A good burger
  • My cat’s fur
  • Atlantic ocean
  • Crisp mountain air first thing in the morning
  • Amber romance body cream
  • Leather 

…and many more.  

How about you? What are your favorite smells?

– with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 12 of 30 – Texture

wpid-screenshot_2014-08-16-19-49-03-1.pngDay 12 of 30 – Gratitude for Texture

I am a pretty tactile person so the way things feel really impacts me.  I can’t even EAT water chestnuts because I can’t stand the texture in my mouth. On the other hand I love the moistness and sponginess of red velvet cupcakes.  

I am a big fan of most soft fabric and tend to shy away from rougher ones.  I like feeling it gliding across my skin as I move about through my day.

Art is a place where I am overjoyed that there are so many textures to appreciate!

I love petting soft furred animals like my little angel cat “C.C.”

I could probably go on for awhile, but suffice it to say I’m grateful that there are so many tantalizing textures that terrifically taunt my tactile tips 😉

 

—-<3 with love from aneternaltraveler <3—–

 

Gratitude Challenge Day 11 of 30 – Noise

wpid-screenshot_2014-08-16-19-49-03-1.pngDay 11 of 30 – Gratitude for Noise

At first I thought, how could anyone be grateful for NOISE??? Isn’t that why we call it that anyway?  If it were pleasurable we might call it “sound” or “music”.  I had to think long and hard for Day 11. Then, it hit me.

Noise usually means there is life. Even the sound of machines requires a human around at some point. It is always nice to know we are not alone whether we are surround by humans, other animals, plants or just mother nature checking in .

I also thought about how even being able to have a conversation about noise, means that you have ears that work well enough to hear it.  

Sometimes noise can be the distraction we need to get out of our own heads. So, when you consider the upsides, I have a new found gratitude for noise!

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So how does it feel to be 1/3 of the way through my 30 Day Gratitude Challenge? You’re in luck. I feel like giving a progress report 🙂

I have to say that I am pleased with the changes I’ve seen since starting this challenge.  It makes me stop and notice more of the things I just took for granted. It allows me to really discover how I feel and to express it thoughtfully. Another side-effect includes, going through my day noticing small stuff and saying thank you! I can’t believe how much more at peace this makes me feel. I think there is something about slowing down to be grateful that makes you less reactive in general.  I like what this is doing for my well-being and for my relationships.

— With gratitude from aneternaltraveler