Today I was going to continue with a few more meditation exercises to use while you are on the road.
BUT I decided to talk about something more pressing and more important.
Thus far in my life I've moved 46 times.
I've met a lot of people and many marvelous people.
I have made short term, for the moment or situation, long term and life long friends.
I’m fortunate that my friends are spread throughout the world.
It’s heartbreaking when you find out that one of those beautiful people has a terminal illness.
I just found out that my friend is in hospice. I wondered why I hadn't heard from her in a while.
My first reaction was tears.
Then ANGER. (BUT anger does me no good. Who am I going to blame?)
Joy because I know her. Joy because she is in my life.
Joy because when she is gone she leaves an INDELIBLE impression on my heart.
How many people can we say that about?
For me, quite a few.
You know who you are.
You are in Spain, Germany, France, South Africa, Canada, California, New York, Florida, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Ontario, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Tennessee,
I have very little family left in the world (I started off with a really small family to begin with) and these friends ARE my family.
Just to make sure there is NO misunderstanding.
I love you.
I love each and every one of you.
I do my best to say it as often as I can in person, by email, text, What's App, Signal, etc.
If there is a mode of communication to use, I am going to use it.
Does it scare me to express my love?
Not everyone can express it as openly as I do, and that's ok.
I have friends who, culturally, it's not in their nature to hug and express verbal love. BUT THEY DO WITH ME!!
My mother used to chastise me when I was a child because she said that I never met a person I didn't like. (I 'm a little less like that now. You know time and experience has a way of shaping you. I do my best to be open AND cautious these days.)
My friend is a kind, caring, generous, funny, and compassionate person.
So many questions and most, I know, will never be answered.
Sometimes answers are REALLY overrated.
Does she know how much I treasure her friendship?
In this fickle world of here today, gone tomorrow friends, this friendship stuck, even when I moved out of the country, thousands of miles away from her.
She vacationed in the town where I moved and I got to see her every year. She made a point of letting me know when she was going to be in town.
We would have lunch, breakfast (she always insisted on paying. I tried but...generous) or would make me a scrumptious meal at her home.
The last time I saw her she had mutual friends over for dinner and we had a blast.
Whenever I was in town we did our best, given our schedules, to see each other.
We became even better friends once I moved than we were when we lived in the same town.
It’s funny how that works.
Some friends simplyfade away when you aren’t in close proximity. Life has a way of moving forward and despite our best efforts friendships just fade.
AND THAT'S OK! It doesn't mean you are loved any less.
Then when you least expect to there are some friends who make an effort to stay in touch.
Or to visit.
Her illness and rapid decline have left me in shock.
That is NOT what she would want.
I stayed awake most of last night thinking about her. About us.
She would want me to CELEBRATE her!
Lift a glass of wine to her. (Preferably Prosecco.)
Name an outfit after her.
She would want me to dance the day she leaves on. her continuing journey.
Although I know she cannot see or speak due to her advancing illness, still, I wrote her an email.
An email she will never read.
I did it anyway.
It’s the best way for me to say “bon voyage.”
Tell them NOW how you feel.
Give them a generous hug.
Who cares who hears or sees it?
My friend would not want me to be kept awake at night grieving for her. ("You need your beauty sleep." Then she would laugh this raucous laugh.)
She would tell me to live my best life. To be the ambassador of my own happiness.
To celebrate every precious day and NOT to forget how precious every day is.
She loved to travel so I will continue to travel carrying her with me in my heart - seeing it through her eyes.
I won’t say I miss you. I know by just thinking about you that you are always here with me.
*NOTE: I was just now on the phone with her best friend and we were talking about our relationship with our mutual friend.
Immediately after we hung up she got the call that our friend had passed away 10 minutes before.
While we were talking about her.
...guess what I'm doing now?
Meditation and mindfulness are the new, old buzz words.
Everyone is meditating or trying to meditate or taking meditation classes or watching meditation videos.
I say, GOOD FOR YOU!
I've been meditating for 27 years and teaching for 24 years.
I have tried all sorts of styles and techniques.
When I get away from meditation I'm less calm, and allow less to roll off of my back.
What works for YOU, works for you.
Here are some recommendations.
I use these exercises on the road, and have taught them in class. They feature various techniques .
Take what works, and leave the rest.
It's YOU on meditation.
*Always remember that meditation is NOT a substitute for medical care or medical advise. It is one of many tools for your health and well-being. Please see your doctor if you are experiencing any emotional or physical challenges that remain with you or come on very suddenly.*
Meditation has a myriad of reactions in the body and mind.
You may feel relaxed, fall asleep, laugh, cry or simply feel content. It is all normal and there is no need to judge your experience.
Those who are participating in meditation techniques are part of a growing population tired of feeling tired or stressed.
You don't have to believe anything or NOT believe anything. Apply what works for YOUR life.
Meditation is a terrific way to relax. Who doesn’t want to relax? Or need to relax? By relax I mean doing something more than watching tv, having a drink(s) or scarfing down big plates of nachos.
The term "Mindfulness" is also used often in business and in professional sports.
YES! Your favorite athletes are most likely practicing mindfulness.
Whether you use the word meditation, mindfulness or relaxation it’s all about the journey. You can call it paddling up the Mississippi for all I care. As long as you are taking the time to DO IT is all that matters!
The technique I developed focuses mainly on breathing.
That sounds pretty simple, right?
And it is.
If you are alive you are breathing.
What do you expect to get from doing these techniques or what would you LIKE to get out of doing these exercises?
If you've been curious, and have never done anything like this before, you might feel a little awkward at first.
I don't insist you sit in lotus position (just sitting upright and comfortably works) or repeat a phrase or word, or put your hands in certain mudras (hand positions). This is about focus and as long as you stay AWAKE you will get a lot of benefit.
There are some breathing exercises that may seem weird but they all have a point.
Just go with it.
We are in this together, and no one is watching.
You may ask “How long do I need to do these exercises?
That is an indication that your brain is resisting.
That’s hard, right?
You need to go with it and release control. Do one exercise until you feel you are ready to go on to the next exercise.
If you work with customers, and sometimes challenging or irate customers, certain types of breathing will get you through tough situations and help you keep your cool.
If you travel (and we all know travel can be REALLY stressful) keeping a cool head will go a long way with the flight attendants, the check-in staff and the counter staff at the gate. Plus, it might even get you a decent upgrade!!
One artist I worked with came to see me in a terrible panic about his upcoming concert. He knew that I did breath and relaxation work. I gave him simple counting breath and body relaxations exercises.
His anxiety was greatly decreased by the time he left my office.
We all come in contact with all kinds of people, all the time. Knowing what calms you down translates calm to others. When you are calm, those you encounter may become calmer, too.
When you do some of the exercises below you may feel a bit light-headed and that is perfectly normal.
If you feel dizzy, stop what you are doing and return to your natural breathing.
We are getting a lot more oxygen into our bodies and our cells with these breathing exercises.
Our bodies aren't used to that unless we have been practicing for a while. We talk quickly, take shallow breaths, run around during the day, not to mention that the body is used to quick inhalations.
Keep this in mind.
When you are consciously breathing your mind cannot run amok. It's very hard to focus on two opposing things at once. Your mind will try to pull you away from what you are doing. It will struggle, argue, tell you that you are bored and you aren’t getting anything from this.
BUT if you continue, you WILL feel a difference.
Make sure you put your phasers to stun. (Turn off your phones for non-Star Trek fans)
Place yourself in a comfortable position making sure you can stay awake and engaged.
Read through the exercises FIRST then do your best to duplicate them with your eyes closed. Move from exercise to exercise at your own pace. Asking yourself "does that exercise feel complete?" before you move on.
You may do these exercises with your eyes open or closed. I find I get more from them with my eyes closed.
Here we go!!!
1) Put your attention in your feet. Relax your feet. Moving up relax your legs, relax your hips, relax your torso, relax your chest, relax your shoulders, relax your arms, relax your hands, relax your neck, relax your jaw. Breath through this for a few minutes.
2) Breath naturally in and out through the nose. REALLY focus on the breath. Stay here for a few minutes.
3) Put your hands on your rib cage. When you breathe, in you expand your ribcage, when you breathe out you release your ribcage. Repeat.
4) Breath in the through the nose and out through the mouth. SLOWLY. Repeat.
5) Ocean breath – breathe in through the nose. Open the mouth and breathe out from the back of throat. It sounds a bit like water rushing out to sea and then coming back to shoe,. or like air rushing through a cave. Repeat.
You can take a break here or continue.
6) Take deep breaths through your nose for a slow count of 5. Then exhale through your mouth for a slow count of 5. Repeat.
7) Breath to the beat: Inhale through the nose for a count of 4, pause for a count of 4, breathe out through the mouth for a count of 4, pause for a count of 4. Repeat.
8) Cannon Ball Breath or Cooling Breath – form your mouth in an small O. Draw air in through your mouth slowly then release keeping the lips pursed. Repeat.
You can take a break here or continue.
OR do the next exercises at another time.
These breath exercises originated in Qigong. They have been shown to be effective in different parts of the brain where particular emotions reside.
Do each exercise for a few minutes OR one at a time to relieve impatience, worry, sadness or depression, fear and anger.
All these breath exercises start with inhaling through the nose. Each breath is released SLOWLY.
9) To Release Impatience – Inhale through the nose, open your mouth and exhale as if you were going to say HAWWWW. Release the breath without vocalization.
10) To Release Worry - Inhale through the nose and form the word WHO. Release the breath as if saying WHO without sound.
11) To Release Sadness or Depression – Inhale through the nose and exhale forming SSSSSSSS - like steam escaping through the mouth.
12) To Release Fear – Inhale through the nose and exhale as if blowing out a candle with a long exhale. Note: this is different than #10.
13) To Release Anger – Inhale through the nose and release the breath while similulating SHHHHHHH through the mouth.
Return to your natural breath.
Open your eyes slowly.
Come back into the room.
I hope you can use some, many or all of these exercises in long, medium or short sessions.
They can be done anywhere inside or outside but do not do them while driving or operating machinery.
Take them on the road for a calmer and more peaceful journey!
As always thanks for reading.
See you next time!
I don't know about you but for me other's experiences, insights and wisdom really inspire me.
Inspiration is everywhere.
I've even made random comments that seem to resonate with people. They weren't pre-meditated. They just seemed to pop out of my ever-active brain.
So here are some quotes I've either heard, mentioned or read while traveling.
I hope one, some, or many resonate with you.
The preceding quote reminded me of a poignant story I heard from the taxi driver who picked us up at the Copenhagen, Denmark airport. He was a very personable and REALLY content person. He was also a tour guide and had a million stories about his Copenhagen home.
He was born and raised in Copenhagen. He moved away for a brief time and returned home because he said there was no place as relaxed and easy to live as Copenhagen. We discussed what it was like to be a citizen and the advantages they have economically, in healthcare, for families, and financially. It was definitely enticing to fantasize about living there. The story he told, to emphasize their happiness quotient, went something like this:
"I have a friend who as an adult lost his eyesight. Regardless, he is the happiest, most easy-going person I've ever met. He has a little daughter. One day the daughter came up to her father and said 'Daddy look at me in my pretty princess dress.' Her father reminded her that he could not see her dress but said he could imagine that she looked very beautiful. He said "I can't see your dress SO let's dance!' Then they both danced around the room." No matter what your concerns and challenges - go ahead and dance!
7. "It’s not right or wrong, it’s sense and nonsense." Carl Jung Originally heard in a discussion of morals in Scandinavia. I believe it was in Stockholm, Sweden.
While staying in a Marriott hotel in Moab, Utah these are the messages that played over and over again in a video loop:
8. Make indifference a forgotten word.
9. Human being - Be good at being human.
10. Neighbors be neighborly.
11. Share! Greed is absurd.
12. Do everything you can.
13. Mankind = Kind men, kind woman.
14. "Let’s see what the universe is going to do."
(I took this to be a message about patience.)
"You can’t make a mistake, because you don’t have to conform."
"Always be a tree growing a different branch."
"An oak is an acorn’s way of becoming other acorns."
"The chicken is one egg's way of becoming others."
"It doesn't matter what other people think about you."
From the inimitable Alan Watts. I was watching a video about him on a long train ride from Rome to Verona, Italy.
From my personal experience:
15. "The only real way to affect change is by living by example. Words are, well, words. You can influence more people by your positive, change-making actions. I admire people MORE for what they DO and how they live their lives, over what they say."
16. “Life is so...life”
I recently wrote this to a friend in Vancouver, Canada. We were discussing some challenges we were facing in our lives. She said "That needs to be on a t-shirt." It’s kind of my mantra. Similar to the Tibetan monk who answered every statement made to him, whether it appeared to be positive or negative, with: “We’ll see.”
(Refer to quote 14. Maybe Alan Watts got it from a Tibetan monk??)
17. "Always look for someone’s motivations and agenda."
Yoruba Chief, Luisah Teish, when I visited her in Oakland, California.
I don't see this as a negative or pessimistic quote. When my intuition starts to raise doubts then I refer to this quote. It's never wrong. When we follow our IMMEDIATE intuition we are always lead in the perfect direction (as long as we don't second guess it). Or at least, that's MY experience. When I ignore my intuition, I end up purchasing some TERRIBLE piece of property in a barren desert! (Metaphorically speaking.)
18. La Vida tranquilo - the peaceful or calm life. (Sign me up!!)
"As long as you do your part, the earth is going to accept you."
Overheard on a Peru Rail train ride from Aguas Calientes (at the foot of Machu Picchu) to Cusco, Peru. In my estimation, a peaceful and calm life is when Mother Earth is happiest. Right now I think she needs a lawyer!
That's it for this week! I hope you enjoyed this offbeat post.
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again soon!
Travel can be hard.
We get out of our routines. (Not always a bad thing, but can really disrupt your system.)
We sleep in beds we aren't used to.
We eat things we don't typically eat at home (more junk and packaged snacks on the run or maybe we drink more alcohol and caffeine).
We're off kilter.
We don't speak the language.
We don't recognize the food.
We are crammed into economy seats on airlines - unless you are fortunate enough to travel first class. That does not happen very often for me, but when it does I relish more space NOT more food or alcohol.
all in all it IS worth it IF you can keep to some healthy habits.
The most important of which (to me) are:
* some kind of exercise.
* some semblance of decent sleep. (I ain't 25 anymore. Hostels, couch surfing and sleeping in the airport don't work for me.)
* regular, healthy meals. (That doesn't mean don't try the local fare. Just be careful of the hot Thai food, the oily Greek food, the saucy French food, and the meaty English food if you aren't used to those cuisines.)
this is what I have found to keep me as sane, healthy and happy on the road as possible.
GET OUT AND WALK! The single best exercise you can do. AND IT'S FREE!!! Many, many cities are not only walking friendly but encourage walking. Some of the Hop On Hop Off buses are really expensive, so walking can be a better alternative. Pick up the pace, slow it down, alternate, swing your arms, climb the stairs, park your vehicle far away from the entrance to a building you're visiting. JUST WALK!
I practice Qigong everywhere I go. Qigong is a moving meditation that works on flexibility, balance and strength. It's the mother of Tai Chi. You perform the same movement over and over again. No need to memorize a long series of movements. OR you can string movements together. There are many simple warm-ups that get your blood flowing. (Videos on the way!) It's unbeatable for stress, tension and relaxation. It's fun, easy and portable. Like walking, there is no equipment needed but your body. The best place to practice is outdoors. BUT you can certainly practice in a small space like in a hotel room, hostel or wherever you happen to be staying.
Meditate! I suggest meditation because (again) you need nothing but your mind and body and a place to sit. Just focus on your natural inhalation and exhalation. Take deep, cleansing breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Stare at the sky, focus on a lake, the ocean, the mountains, wandering wildlife, or a flower. The options are endless. Ride a horse, pet your dog, dance, do some rhythmic, gentle exercise. It's all meditation.
I once meditated in the New York Subway. As detached as possible I watched the trains rush in and out, and the people scurry AND I did it with a smile on my face. I may have looked a bit demented BUT the simple act of smiling releases oxytocin, the feel good hormone.
If you need more ideas for meditation, feel free to message me. I've got a million of 'em.
While traveling I always seek out vegan restaurants. That's because I'M vegan. Luckily, they abound in nearly every place I've been, or at least vegetarian restaurants or vegetarian choices.
Even if you AREN'T vegan ditching meat and dairy for a day or two won't hurt you, as a matter of fact it may help you. Meat can make you lethargic, disrupt your digestion or make you out and out sick while on the road. Vegetables and fruit are often locally sourced - farm to table - or organic. A vegan eating program is full of fiber, vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients. Many of which we may lack while we are traveling. We ALL know what happens to our system when we're on the road. It's important to keep the pipes running smoothly. (Hey, that's the best way I could possibly put it!)
My cardiologist says he never does blood tests on his patients after the holidays because the results are always too high or too low. He lets his patients get back to their regular routine before he feels he can make an accurate assessment. I'm one of those people who traveled then had a scheduled routine blood test just a few days after I returned home. The results weren't stellar compared to the previous year because I was out of my eating, exercise, and sleeping routine. As soon as I got back to my clean eating, exercise and sleep hygiene everything went back to normal. No need to have the life scared out of you because you mistimed your annual blood work.
Don't forget your supplements, or medications, because vacations are especially not the time to wean off of medication. Most of us need at least a multi-vitamin, copious amounts of water and to be extremely careful with caffeine and alcohol while traveling. It's TOO easy to celebrate, party and overindulge on vacation.
Need a pick me up in Peru or another high altitude South American country? Drink Coca from Coca leaves. It's unparalleled for altitude sickness and a perfect replacement for caffeine without the jitters, nervousness, anxiety or acid. It's perfectly legal in South America. How do you think the terraced Andes mountain farms and Machu Picchu were built? Yep, Coca! Children can safely drink it, too. The reputation of this life affirming tea has been decimated because of the chemical process that it has been subjected to to make cocaine. Leave it in its pristine state and it's a miracle herb.
If you are interested in more tips to stay healthy while seeing the world, don't hesitate to contact me.
As always thanks for reading!
Take a look at the slideshow. I add new photos every week.
I love Hawai’i. It's a place where I feel free.
My son and I learned to surf with Titus Kinimaka's school in Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i.
I had my honeymoon on Hawai'i.
I became entranced by the Kilauea volcano. (This was when the eruptions were minor in from 2008 - 2016. Now the road I drove on surrounded by lava fields created by previous eruptions is gone!)
I learned it was ok to be a "Haole".
I learned to respect the coral reefs.
I met many aunties and uncles.
I climbed Diamondhead.
I stayed in a cottage on the ocean at the Pacific Missile Range at Barking Sands on Kaua'i, AND for the first time saw the Milky Way as clearly as you are reading this now. (It's a remote military installation. We are a retired military family with some spectacular perks.)
I stood waist deep in a cove outside my rented cottage in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu surrounded by sea turtles while the rain came down and a double rainbow appeared over my head.
I snorkeled with sea turtles the size of large dining tables in Poipu. . (They followed me, I did NOT follow them because that is illegal and upsets nature's balance.)
I ate the most delicious macadamia nuts I've ever experienced.
AND butter mochi...
...and avocados the size of my head (for ONE dollar!).
I visited the most spectacular farmer's market I have ever experienced in Hilo on The Big Island. There was quite a bit of produce I had NEVER seen before. I did my best to at least TRY most of it. (One in particular smelled like dirty feet, Yes, that is known as Durian, and it's an acquired taste, to say the least.)
The list goes on and on and on.
I will do what it takes to help keep Hawai'i's integrity.
If you have been to Hawaii I'm SURE you know exactly what I mean.
If you have not been to Hawaii, my hope is some day that you see it.
Regardless, no-one whether they have visited the islands or traveled there from their living room can ignore its splendor. There is NO PLACE like it.
I have taken the PONO PLEDGE to keep its culture, environment, ocean, land, residents and wildlife intact, safe and thriving.
Take this beautiful, heartfelt pledge with me!
* I pledge to be pono (righteous) on the island of Hawai‘i.
* I will mindfully seek wonder,
but not wander where I do not belong.
* I will not defy death for breathtaking photos,
or venture beyond safety.
* I will mālama (care for) land and sea,
and admire wildlife only from afar.
* Molten lava will mesmerize me,
but I will not disrupt its flow.
* I will not take what is not mine,
leaving lava rocks and sand as originally found.
* I will heed ocean conditions,
never turning my back to the Pacific.
* When rain falls ma uka (inland), I will remain high above ground, out of rivers and streams.
* I will embrace the island’s aloha spirit,
as it embraces me.
* Lawe i ka maʻalea i kūʻonoʻono.
“Take Wisdom and Make it Deep.”
Click below to officially join millions of individuals who believe Hawai'i is worth preserving.
As always thanks for reading.
I post articles and pictures Monday through Thursday for your viewing pleasure!
With all of the traveling I've been doing I see a lot of different faces, in a lot of different cultures and countries.
Most are NOT so obsessed with looking like they are 25.
MOST are into aging gracefully, or as I like to call it PRO-AGING.
Why would any of us want to ANTI-age?
I know there are many people who don’t want to age.
THAT is IMPOSSIBLE no matter how hard you try. That's one of those things we just have to "get over".
Wouldn't you rather age than the alternative?
And by the alternative, I mean death.
Or is “die young, stay pretty”, the preferred option?
I am extremely passionate about aging intelligently.
What do I mean by that?
You can age intelligently by caring for your skin, your mind, your body, your relationships, your career and your health.
We have to get out of the mindset that "aging is a curse".
I have seen gorgeous women (and men, for that matter) in France, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain, China and many other locales, who are absolutely stunning inside and out..
And over the age of 50.
They are living a good life, having fun, and taking care of themselves.
They are loving, making a contribution to their communities, wise, knowledgeable and resilient.
That is REAL beauty!
I'm just one of those women who can’t wrap her mind around “anti-aging”.
And it isn't just the entertainment industry that is obsessed with the clock not moving forward.
Is it Vanity?
All of the above?
We can all spot, from a mile away, the person who has had so much work done on their face or their body that they don’t look real.
And let’s face it (lol, pun intended), a 70-year-old woman with an extreme facelift still does NOT look 40.
Plus, no 50 year old who has overdosed on fillers will ever look 25.
Don't get me wrong I wholeheartedly support taking care of yourself.
Get facials, Dermabrasion, Dermaplaning, some Botox, muscle stimulation and any of the non-invasive procedures that you fancy.
Along with that exercise, eat healthy foods - be a health advocate - but going under the knife, sometimes again and again and again, seems to me to be another addiction.
Is one ever REALLY satisfied after they get on that merry-go-round?
Have we become such an insecure society that we only care about how others see us and that influences how we see ourselves?
My West Virginian grandfather, on every one of his birthdays, would always say that he would rather be having a birthday than not!
It took me a while to get there and now I feel exactly the same way.
As we age, granted, everything isn’t still in its original place.
We may not have what we had in our teens, twenties or thirties.
However, if we really think about it most likely we have more.
Some of the most inspirational people I know and observe are not in those age categories.
That is not because I'm of a certain age, either. I have friends in their 20’s to their 80’s.
When was it decided that only youth was beautiful?
Is it a North American or western phenomenon?
In my teens, twenties, and 30’s I didn’t give aging a second thought.
I was too busy with my career, and in my VERY late 30's having and raising a child.
The sad thing is that today those groups are getting bombarded with the notion that one tiny wrinkle or a grey hair is a fatality.
Keeping up with whomever is the only way to beauty or self-worth.
We weren’t inundated with the products on the market today to keep us perpetually 25.
When did that happen?
Skin care IS important. Mostly so we don’t get skin cancer, which is a hell of a lot worse than a wrinkle.
I have never met anyone who died from a wrinkle.
With age comes wisdom. YES! It's CLICHÉ but it's true.
Maybe wisdom doesn't come to everyone over the age of 40 but those years are life experiences and life experiences teach us.
Who decided for me that my laugh lines were ugly or that my silver hair makes me old? (A guy on YouTube did last week but he was just asking for trouble online and I happened to be there.)
The fact that I'm not still wafer thin makes me less than?
Honestly, I'd rather be healthy and strong than skeletal.
BUT the pressures I have felt and see my friends experiencing are an uphill battle.
When did we lose our talent, creativity, abilities, and exuberance because we turned the corner of 40, 50 or 60?
I was out one evening in Vancouver, Canada with girlfriends between the ages of 40 and 60.
We were having a great time going dancing, hopping from restaurant to club, to coffee house.
We were laughing and joking and having an AMAZING time.
At one point in the evening, we were all crossing the street, and a group of 20 something women was crossing the street at the same time.
They started pointing at us, laughing and making jokes about us.
One of my friends turned around and shouted “What are you laughing at? We’re YOU in 20 years!”
Well, that shut them the bleep up.
If those ladies are LUCKY they will be anything like us in 20 years.
We were a group of attractive, accomplished, talented, vital, vibrant and SEXY woman.
We had life experience.
We were walking, talking, living, breathing, oozing experience.
Everywhere I go I learn something new from other women in other cultures. I love going into a European drug store to pour over the shelves of creams, notions and potions. Most which ultimately end up in my suitcase in the convenient travel size. Europe is light years ahead of us in self-care.
Eating right, exercising, meditating, being grateful, making a contribution somewhere, going for it, going with the flow and making your mark (whatever that is) at ALL ages - THAT'S the ticket.
It's wonderful to have older women friends to learn from and to absorb THEIR wisdom.
What is NOT wonderful is to have pressure to be someone else’s idea and image of perfection.
AT ANY AGE.
So go ahead and use those potions and lotions (cuz soft skin feels terrific), but don’t lose sight of your beauty inside and out.
Don’t let someone else tell you what is aging and beauty. (I'm also talking to the men out there, too. Pro-aging is not just for women.)
Find your support system and nurture it.
“Smell the roses.”
‘Grab for the gusto.”
“Go for it.”
‘You do you.”
Be YOUR best self.
AND never let someone else define you - at ANY AGE!
My wish for you is long and luscious PRO-aging on whatever continent you reside.
As always, thanks for reading.
I am on the road somewhere between Moab, Utah and Ouray, Colorado (the Switzerland of the U.S.).
There is spotty to no cell reception or Wi-Fi. I’m sneaking this little blurb in before I become incommunicado again.
SO I’ve decided just to practice my Jedi Mind Tricks on this solitary leg of the journey.
Instead of being antsy about posting a long article and some great pics and video I have taken, I will say:
“Please come back next week and for the weeks to follow for A LOT of info about our travels, our experiences, the people we have met, food we’ve eaten, our health and a really exciting Jeep Rubicon 4x4 daredevil off-road tour we took.” (I do NOT say that lightly and have the video to prove it!! Let’s say I’m still a bit of an adrenaline junkie and hubby...not so much.).
I’ll be back next week at my desk with full internet and full use of my desktop computer.
By the way, we were able to log onto my laptop, while plugged in, just long enough to transfer all my files into an external hard drive. Then it went dead.
As always, thanks for reading.
Will definitely see you again next week.
I'm writing from a hotel computer somewhere between Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado.
Because early this morning a cup of coffee (not mine, I drink tea) was accidentally deposited on my MacBook Air.
I got the kiss of death on the computer screen: a white folder with a black question mark in it.
What does that mean? Au revoir, MacBook Air.
It turned on for a while after it was dried out with a hair dryer.
To say I am frustrated because most of the last 15 years of my life personally and professionally was on that computer, is an understatement.
I hadn't backed it up to the external hard drive for over a year.
I wasn't using it that much, except to cross reference information with my desktop and occasionally write on the road.
SO my BAD for not backing it up with a vengeance every week.
There are no Apple stores for many, many miles from where I am staying.
An authorized store trained to take a look at my computer to see if I can retrieve anything from it is also at least a hundred miles away from where I'm staying.
This trip was purposefully one off the beaten trail.
YES! Shit DOES happen.
First, my Air was not synced with the iCloud like my Desktop, iPhone and iPad.
How I overlooked that, well, OPERATOR ERROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Needless to say I'm angry but I can't be too angry because it was truly an accident.
It's a good lesson to stay present and the moment you go on autopilot things like this happen.
We start going through our day, often mindlessly executing tasks, we space out and then BAM.
Plus, when you write for a living, or are on the road for business, it's essential to keep files backed up and do your best to make allowances for hiccups.
Or big, ugly burps.
Let my misfortune be your forewarning.
Back it up.
Keep the liquids a mile away from your computers.
MOST importantly, even on holidays and vacations, don't check out.
I love this saying from the 1936 Olympic rowing team: "Keep your mind in the boat."
The biggest lesson?
When both of your hands are full, don't try to do anything else.
Unless you sprout a third arm and hand.
I'll let you know next week if my computer is now a really pretty, shiny paperweight.
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week! (Hopefully!)
The above quote is from my sweet next-door neighbor.
She's right. We travel.
We are away from home about as much as we are at home.
As we move forward in life we decided to "get it while the gettin's good."
PLUS, we are REALLY fortunate that we CAN travel.
So WHY am I transitioning into a travel website?
It's not REALLY a travel website.
Travel IS one of the great joys in our lives AND because we travel worldwide we have amassed a TON of information about travel.
All kinds of travel.
AND we have experienced so many facets of travel...
retreats with meditation, water sports, nature, wildlife, soaking in hot mineral water, dealing with health issues while traveling, visiting friends and family, making new friends, cuisine, culture, the arts, history, language, traveling with a service dog, eating right, exercise, and the delays of travel.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. (And by the way I just saw a mind-boggling number of icebergs in Alaska recently. Get yourself to Alaska, if you can!)
I was chatting with another writer friend yesterday and he said the subjects I can write about embodied in travel are practically limitless.
What better to write about than the things you enjoy the most AND the things that affect you the most, coupled with expeditions?
I've taught meditation and Qigong while traveling, had singing gigs, percussion performances, taken care of family, rescued lost, injured and displaced animals and made sure, on many occasions, that families on the street got a decent meal.
We have connected with interesting and unusual people.
Not the least of which, we have benefitted from it all with a world view. We see life beyond the four walls of our little town. THAT helps us to understand others and be more global citizens.
That being said...
You don't have to travel the world to get a bigger view of life.
Start in your town or city, then within your county, state, and region.
The U.S. has a myriad of discoveries waiting for you.
Some cities don't even feel like they are in the U.S. They have wonderful foreign influences. New Orleans is one of those examples.
There is a lifetime of travel in the countries that border the U.S.
It's not difficult or bank-breaking to get to Canada. Unless you are traveling to Vancouver, THEN you may need to break into the piggy bank. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Vancouver. I lived there for nine years. But it's cheaper for me to spend a month in Thailand than a week in Vancouver. Sorry, Vancouver.
South of the U.S. there's Mexico, Central America, and South America. Gratefully, my limited Spanish goes a LONG way. ("Learn more Spanish" is on my list.)
A flight from where I live in Florida to Costa Rica is cheaper than a flight from Florida to California!
Keeping an eye on airfare has become a hobby and we have reaped the rewards by booking airfare to Europe with a combination of points and lower flash sale prices.
Do you have a credit card? Most of them offer airline miles:
Chase Sapphire, Capital One Venture, Citi AAdvantage (we use this card), and Alaska Airlines Visa (we also use this one) just to name a few. (By the way, NO airline, restaurant, town, or business has paid me to recommend them.)
On the flip side of travel: We have seen unimaginable wealth and unspeakable poverty. We have come face-to-face with a worldwide homelessness issue.
Everything I have been addressing in my topical "human interest" writing I have also experienced through our travels.
We have learned to cut corners when necessary without EVER feeling we have cut corners.
We BOTH are also VERY "go with the flow."
We know so little is in our control that we don't get crazy about challenges that crop up in our travels. (Ok, sometimes maybe a little. And by that, I mean me.) It pays to keep your cool.
We have a family member who travels constantly and it never ceases to amaze me the compensation received for inconveniences, mistakes, bad service, bad attitudes and out and out bad business. There is a way to complain and a million ways not to complain. Freaking out gets you nowhere except with a headache, stomachache, anxiety attack and possibly escorted out of the building or off of the plane, banned for life. (I've seen it!)
We have stayed in lousy to luxury accommodations. We prefer somewhere in between.
It doesn't mean we don't treat ourselves. We do.
However, we don't take advantage of the higher end accommodations in certain extremely expensive cities or countries. It doesn't make sense for us.
I will talk about that in future posts.
I have "intel" on our personal explorations. Some of the information came easily and some required a little blood, sweat and tears. Again, somewhere in the middle works best for us.
We shop deals and do a ton of research AND have the benefit of military perks since my husband is retired Navy.
By military perks I mean being able to stay at some military resorts throughout the world, and staying in incredible lodging on bases. A cottage in your own cove in Hawai'i? YES! Saying "thank you for your service" is nice, however, the perks are even nicer. My husband earned it!
When our schedule is really flexible, we can fly military flights to destinations all over the world. For free. (That's a lot more planning and flexibility and SO worth it!)
Not to mention we are frequent flyers with 4 airlines.
We watch websites like hopper.com , www.airfarewatchdog.com and the airline and cruise line websites.
We monitor them several times a week.
As far as cruise lines we have sailed with three and our favorite HANDS DOWN is Celebrity. www.celebritycruises.com
We highly recommend getting on a repositioning cruise if you can. We took one Transatlantic from Miami to Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, France and Italy. It was reasonable and a great way to get a taste of several countries. The upside was a beautiful cabin with a veranda, incredible food and peace and quiet. The downside was a freak storm from the Arctic that brought with it 30 foot waves. As dishes crashed in the dining areas the band played. A moment out of Titanic. My husband showed me where the life vest was, gave me a sleeping pill and I slept through it waking to a beautiful, storm-free day. I was a bit anxious, but I'd do it all over again knowing we were on a ship engineered to handle rougher seas. Again, kudos to Celebrity!
In a nutshell, although I'm focusing here on writing about our travels, I will include human interest, holistic health, tips, ideas, feedback, reviews, recommendations, photos, videos, and more.
I hope you enjoy traveling with us and that you, too, can hit the road in some way.
Regardless what I say - go and see it for yourself.
As always, thanks for reading.
I'll be writing next week from Colorado!!
I left Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and here’s what happened:
For personal and ethical reasons I have been working my way towards leaving "the Big Three" for quite a long time.
I have had about 6 Twitter accounts and deleted them all within a week or less of having them. Then against my better judgment and someone's advice I'd make another account, participate for a little while only to delete it again.
I got tired of the drama, the political backbiting, the name calling, fighting, arguing and the seeming lust for 15 minutes of fame.
I also got uncomfortable with reading so many people's deepest, darkest, personal secrets.
My heart goes out to anyone dealing with life challenges. I'm just not sure I want to be privy to all of that information.
I guess they aren't so secret since they are being displayed all over the Internet.
I’m not certain that people understand when you post online to any social media that it’s accessible by anyone, even if you mark it friends only.
The fact that Facebook has over 3 billion users means it is pervasive worldwide. It also means that what you post to your “friends” is not just to your friends. Anyone can read your posts via your friends.
SO it’s to the world.
People have gotten fired from their jobs for posts on the leading social media. People I know! Mostly for their 3 am intoxicated rants about this, that or the other thing. (That reminds me of someone but I can't for the life of me recall who that is.)
People have been caught breaking the law, and cheating on their partners on social media.
They also allow graphic videos of violence, murder and in some instances videos that are just this side of pornographic. (If we want to watch porn it's easy to find. I guess not easy enough if it's all over social media.)
There's lots of sex, sexual Innuendo, profanity, and near nudity Oh, who am I trying to kid? Nudity. Again, isn't there Hamster X for that? I'm just sayin'.
Don’t get me wrong I love the human body. I think nudity is gorgeous, and sex is amazing, but there are some great and not so great ways to express it.
Then there is the ethical issue. The issue of media dominance, and allowing horrible atrocities to be posted. Not to mention election improprieties, bullying, lying and covering up of said lies.
Yep, gonna tell you exactly how I really feel!
Look, this is ME, not anyone else. This is what works and does not work for me.
This may or may not bother or resonate with you.
AND THAT IS FINE!
That’s what bothers me about the three amigos.
Here is what I loved about it:
I made a couple of friends in the 9 years I was on it.
I got several introductions to potential jobs.
I saw wonderful photos, reconnected with friends, classmates, colleagues, and distant family.
I experienced vicariously the adventures, trials, tribulations, successes and failures of the aforementioned people.
I shared, collaborated and commiserated.
I also wasted A LOT of time.
Ok, that may not be a plus...
Here is what happened the couple of times I posted that I was leaving (was I crying wolf? I guess not since the wolf has left the building. Sorry, mixed metaphor.)
I was asked not to go. I was told that what I posted was really appreciated. How was I going to keep up with everyone? How would I know when there are events, parties, births, and reunions? The state of the country? Won't it affect my business, or work? How can I live when "everyone", and the most important news, announcements, connections, etc., are on these particular social medias? Aren't I afraid I will be looked at as an outcast? Or with suspicion? How can I be much of a teacher, writer, artist if I'm not on said social media? Only legitimate businesses and people are on the big social media, especially Facebook. (You can't have a business page without a personal page. Nah, I'll pass.)
Here is what happened when I actually left:
Of the original 3000 people who were my Facebook "friends", I whittled those down to 1800 (this was the beginning of the end), then to 1200, then to 800. I knew each and every one of them. Maybe we weren't pals or close but knew them all personally.
I gathered emails and phone numbers, posted my website, where to find my writing on other websites and my LinkedIn page link.
I downloaded my archive.
I made a commitment to connect in different ways with my connections.
Then one day I just left.
No parting gifts.
Mind you, this was not without Facebook specifically asking me about half a dozen times if I knew what I was doing? They posted photos of my friends telling me who would miss me. (Those who really ARE my friends actually have a life with me outside of Facebook.)
"Are you sure you want to leave? You will miss out on x, y or z..."
In the final stages I could deactivate my account and it would take two weeks for it to be deleted.
Maybe this would lead to second thoughts and in a moment of weakness I would log on and that would start the two week clock ticking again.
This time there was nothing anyone could say that would change my mind.
I had already moved on and broken the addiction(s).
And it WAS an addiction.
I wasn't on the big three every day but I fell into the "check in" trap when I could have been doing so many other things.
LIKE just sitting there and taking a few deep breaths,
getting on a yoga mat and stretching for a few minutes,
picking up the phone, texting, calling or SKYPING with someone,
So what REALLY happened?
NOT A DAMN THING.
People I was already in touch with outside of the triad have stayed in touch with me.
Most people that were not in touch with me outside of the trinity have not communicated with me.
AND THAT'S OK!!
There are plenty of ways to communicate with me if desired.
I haven't eradicated my presence online or through social media. I'm just selective.
It hasn't affected my writing, or travel endeavors whatsoever.
As a matter of fact, I have taken up a few more percussion instruments. I spend a lot more time writing, meditating, AND DANCING!!
I am learning new languages, and strengthening my relationships one-on-one.
Sure, there are those who told me that they only used (fill in the blank), and only messaged and communicated via F, I or T.
That had no effect on me.
That is their choice and this is mine.
I sent a newsletter to 161 people, including many from my F, I and T days. I heard from about 30 of them. Some told me personally, later on, that they had read my newsletter and enjoyed it.
I understand there are those who need the interaction of the biggest social medias, for whatever reason.
I don't judge. Use it as you see fit. (No pun intending.)
These platforms are happy to have as many members as possible.
Members mean money, and lots of it.
It's business. Just business.
For each attrition there are new users.
The triad isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
The sun will still rise regardless of click, comment or swipe.
As always, thanks for reading.
See you next week.
KaZ has been in many facets of entertainment, plus the co-owner of two restaurants, a fitness center, a television production company and the owner of a cinema. She did a stint in politics (she won't be doing that again anytime soon), and in veterinary medicine, She now focuses on writing.
In addition to the above, KaZ is an award-winning vocalist, a former dancer, stunt actor, circus artist, & professional water skier. She has worked as a theater artistic director & writer.
KaZ has been a published writer in magazines & books since the age of 15. She has written plays that have been produced in New York, Florida & New Orleans. She has a featured chapter in the book How To Survive A Move. (Up-to-date she has moved 45 times!) KaZ wrote an article for Organic Wine Journal, and also an article featured at the Ground Zero Memorial.
KaZ co-wrote 2 television informational series & 3 television pilots.
One of the pilots, a sit-com, was produced as a reality pilot. KaZ has revisited it and it's now a one season cable series.
“(And ) Then This Happened.” is based on life, love, and everything in between in the mid-life years. Loosely based on her life and the life of two of her best girlfriends.
KaZ's many high pressure pursuits led her to meditation.
She began studying meditation in '91. Her initial training focused on Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan and his teachers. She is a certified Master Meditation and Qigong Instructor.
Most recently KaZ taught in a juvenile justice facility, and lectured on mental health in juvenile justice.
With writing being her first love, look for KaZ's upcoming children's books
from the mind of two grandmothers.
Plus, a play based on letters from her two great uncles during WWII.