August 1, 2021
Good morning friends! I hope you are all doing well. Geez, it’s the first Sunday and the first day of August. These months and this year are flying by too quickly! I hope you’re making time for your self-care. Maintaining your well-being is an important part of healthy living and wellness. “You time” is an integral, wonderful and needed part of the healthy life puzzle. Your personal time (“you time”) can include anything that brings you joy or happiness. I enjoy including nature, serenity, alone time, relaxation, adventure or fun (with or without friends); as fabulous time for me. I’ve been spending time visiting my sister, brother in law and family in the bay area; while I continue my search for a new home. Actually, I’m living with them during this transition. They have been super incredible and accommodating for allowing me to invade their space. It’s crazy to think nearly two months have passed since I moved out of my home in SoCal. The housing market and home search has been crazy! I was past due for some excitement, so I hit the open road a little over two weeks ago. My adventures began by traveling into the Pacific Northwest. I visited friends, saw beautiful sights, made new friends, enjoyed plenty of fun and the solitude of nature. It was just what I needed to refresh my soul. Now I’m even more excited to get out, travel and see more of the world (as soon as it reopens)!
My ultimate destination for this journey was Whidbey Island Washington. I’d been invited to attend a four-day retreat for men. I was excited to accept the invitation! Since my life is in transition, at the present time, so it was very easy to say, “Yes!” The man that invited me, ran the Zion Trail Ragnar on my team in May. He wasn’t signed up to run, but his girlfriend was, and she brought him along. Our team had a runner withdraw at the last minute and he filled the spot nicely. I met them both at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica two years ago. I was able to spend time with them, before and after the Ragnar race. It was great to talk and get to know them both better during the Zion event. It’s interesting how you connect with people when the timing is right. God and the universe have a plan for everything and everyone. New connections, friendships, travel and adventure play an important role in our lives and health.
My adventure kicked off by driving about seven hours north into Central Oregon. It was sad as I drove through the Shasta National Forest. A massive wild fire ravaged the area for weeks. The destruction was devastating and complete. Forests, once filled with trees, vegetation and animal life was void. It was sad to see how unbelievably low the water level of Lake Shasta has dropped. There was additional destruction as I proceeded north into the Klamath National Forest. Another wild fire created similar carnage to parts of this once beautiful forest. Nearly 60 wild fires were burning at the same time in the western states. I pray for the fire personnel and all those affected by these tragic occurrences. I suppose nature works in ways that often appear harmful to us, but assist in maintaining the natural order of existence.
I reached my first destination and had the pleasure of visiting with amazing friends in Oregon. Wonderful people and awesome sights, excite my spirit and fill my heart with joy. We enjoyed two fabulous days of exploring trails, waterfalls and mountains. The lush forests; filled with pine trees, vibrant vegetation, raging waterfalls and bountiful blue sky made my drive easily worth every second. I was thrilled to enjoy, what seemed to be, a walking meditation through this landscape. Getting outside and spending time in nature never disappoints my soul. It’s like a cleansing and healing experience for my mind, body and spirit. The harmonious feeling and connection to the earth is real. The energy of the universe is boundless and present in all things, including us.
From Central Oregon, my travels took me north. I stopped to visit Mt Hood, a potentially active volcano, with an elevation of 11, 250 feet. The Timberline Lodge is located on the south face of the mountain. The lodge was dedicated in 1937 by President Franklin Roosevelt. The exterior of the hotel was used for the movie, The Shining. “Here’s Johnny!” It hosts a ski resort and a section of the Pacific Crest Trail traverses the mountain. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to visit. The mountain and hotel are amazing. I continued my journey into Washington state. I’ve visited Vancouver Washington twice before, but never further north. This is a beautiful area, with lots of pine trees and green filled mountains. The Columbia River runs along the Oregon and Washington border, which accentuates the areas magnificence. The drive from Vancouver to Olympia was a scenic experience. My attention and concentration was on traffic and driving; while I was still able to enjoy the splendor and beauty. I spent two nights in Olympia. I rested, explored, worked out, ran, hiked and saw deer so close I could hear them breathe. The splendor of nature never ceases to amaze me, while it calms my spirit.
I reached the final destination of my adventure, Whidbey Island. I won’t go into great detail about the retreat, other than to say it was a fabulous experience. The location is indescribable and absolutely beautiful. I’d only seen pictures of this amazing area. Now I can say with all honesty, it is incredible. I suppose all that yearly rain ensures this area stays green and lush with beauty! The four days included food, conversation, sharing stories of life, horse shoe matches, relaxing, building new contacts and making new friends. It was a pleasure to meet some amazing men. I enjoyed two full days of horseback riding, which was fantastic. I last rode a horse on a friends ranch in Australia about five years ago. Twenty-five years ago, I rode in the LAPD Mounted Unit for nearly two years. Riding the same horse daily during that time, built my skill level and abilities. I rode Otis for both rides on the island. He had the looks and beauty of a Palomino, with an easy attitude and personality all his own. It was so fun to be back in the saddle. The rides through the tree covered forest were serene and beautiful. This was a fabulous adventure in so many ways! It soothed my soul.
Driving isn’t my first choice for travel, but it’s a fabulous way to see and experience the countryside from ground level. Lately, I haven’t been thrilled to drive long distances; especially alone. Flying is typically easier and quicker. I’m happy I had the time and opportunity to get behind the wheel and go. I can’t say I enjoy traveling alone; because I don’t! I enjoy having someone special to share the fabulous adventures and experiences life offers along the way. I’m a firm believer that life is better, and meant to be, shared with an amazing partner. I know she’s out there. I’m patiently waiting for the universe to connect us. I know it’ll happen when the time is right. For the time being, I’m comfortable and confident with me and who I am. Being on my own, or with friends or family, all works. It doesn’t scare me being on my own; just not forever. There’s a distinct difference between living life or just existing. I discovered beauty of actually living life. It’s a fabulous experience! I hope you find it too.
You don’t have to take a road trip to boost your health or wellness. Your “you time” can be anything that suites your needs at any particular time. I do my best to ensure I’m caring for my own physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Self-care, self-love and personal happiness are a responsibility for each of us to maintain. This is not up to anyone else to do for you. If you aren’t maintaining any portion of these elements, then you need to step up your game. Health and wellness include a variety of puzzle pieces; including food, exercise, rest, hydration and time in nature (which includes air and sunshine). I eat healthy, drink plenty of water, but still like to indulge in treats now and then. This is life, so you have to live a little; and treats are an awesome part of that puzzle. I do my best to get enough sleep at night. I use exercise to release stress and anxiety, while maintaining my fitness. Spending time outside, breathing the air and soaking up some sunshine, is vitally important to my better health. The ocean with sandy beaches and mountains with tall trees, are two of my favorite places to relax. I lived at the beach for many years and absolutely love it. I share an equal passion for the mountains and beautiful pine trees. Both these places emit an equal amount of energy. When I spend time on the sand or in the forest, I feel that power entering my spirit. It’s an incredible sensation. This trip north provided an opportunity for me to enjoy a bit of both.
Moving toward my dreams has truly been a journey of self-discovery. I may not always have the correct answer or know which path to take. I’m not afraid to make a decision and move forward. If you sit in uncertainty, nothing will ever change or improve. Life has challenges, don’t fear them. It hasn’t always been fun, exciting or pleasant. It’s been filled with emotions, learning and self-growth. There’s been frustration, sadness and humbling acceptance along the way. I open my heart, soul and myself more each day to the possibilities the universe has in store. I’ve learned that I can’t control my life, so I accept each new day with gratitude and happiness. My new mindset is far more beneficial than I could have ever hoped for. I remain consistent on my path to wellness. Each subtle change within me empowers my entire spirit. Reach for your dreams every day. If you don’t get up and take an active role in your present, your future won’t improve. Be grateful and happy with your life. Work to challenge yourself, accept change and don’t be afraid to seek assistance if needed. I’m always here if you need me. Just ask. Follow your dreams. They know the way.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation. Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!