Days 110 - 113
We are all connected, each and every one of us. Your actions affect people (some that you may never even meet).
Will you bring love to this existence, or pain? It is your choice.
I allow my existence to be guided by love, as much as I am capable. Guided by the universe. I have no idea what is next for us, and that is ok. All that matters is now.
I will continue to take inspired action. This week I began sharing my Words Matter exhibit online again. Speaking stories of hope from the "warriors" and stories of pain from the lost.
When I first launched the exhibit, a woman came to the opening. She told me she had gotten online to research "clean" ways to end her life. But as she scrolled, a notification from FB of an event near her popped up. My event.
You truly never know the extent of the ripples you make.
This week has been one of work... much work on the part time teaching job that I hold but also some painting, some planning and as always... some healing.
As I share the stories of each portrait I have drawn, more people reach out wishing to have a loved one added to the exhibit. There are 31 completed portraits traveling with me. 2 on my drawing boards - one of which is me.
The difference between when I first shared these stories and now?
Now I know who I truly am and why I am here.
Now I know I love this life.
Now I know I could never go back to that place of deepest darkness.
I had to make the choice. No one else was capable of getting me out of that pit, I had to do it myself.
It was my decision to read books to help me heal.
My decision to reach out to healers and spiritual teachers.
My decision to get out of a toxic relationship (that I knew from the very first date would devastate me but I ignored it and lost myself for 20 years).
My decision to express every feeling, every thought.
My decision to accept and love myself... even the shadows.
My decision to get up and watch the sun rise.
My decision to sell my house, buy an RV and travel.
It was my decision to live.
To live a life of no judgment.
To live a life of love, joy and peace because that, my friends, is all that matters.
This moment, right now. The past got you to where you are. Hopefully you've learned lessons to take with you into now. But other than those lessons, the past doesn't matter. The future doesn't matter.
We only have right now.
So go live. Go love. Go find joy. It's there... you just have to make the decision to see it.
Watch the sun set and rise. Each day you can make the decision to release your burdens and awake renewed, full of gratitude and grace. We watched a magical sun set last night, a dolphin and a sea turtle even swam up to say hello as we stood holding each other on the pier. As a friend told me, we exude an energy of pure love... so it is no surprise a dolphin would want to be near. I have never experienced this feeling before. It is as magical as each sun set and rise that we see together. I can't imagine being anywhere else... except here, now.
Love you all! Have a beautiful day!
Days 108 - 109
To live full of joy. Full of love. Full of peace.
That is the goal each of us should have. The fullest, best life possible.
I put the pictures shown above (and message in the picture) on the fridge when I left Idaho in October. I had not felt the joy shown on all our faces for the majority of my adult life. So, I felt that I needed the reminder to live JOYFULLY.
Life has a tendency to make us too serious. Perhaps it's a person in your life, a situation, or maybe your own thoughts. But, if you can live in the energy of gratitude - gratitude for what you see, feel, hear, touch, smell - you can get out of the negative cycles that our brains create.
This life is fleeting. It is ever changing. Whatever your circumstances are in this moment could be changed in an instant.
So, find the joy. Feel the love for all. Find peace in knowing everything will work out exactly the way it is supposed to. That way may not be what we want at first... but it is for the best. In some way, even the greatest pain/loss can create a ripple of blessings for the greatest good of all.
Jordan and I have taken a nice stroll the last few days. Finding different paths to walk and just BE. To feel the sun on our skin, the wind in our hair, the joy of being with someone who cares so deeply... we are living our best life.
Are you? What do you need to do to get there if you aren't?
It might be as simple as feeling gratitude. I see the pictures on my fridge many times a day (the fridge is in direct eyesight of the front door) and every time, my heart smiles. I am eternally grateful for the people I've met and the family I have. Blood relatives and "adopted" I am truly blessed.
As far as the RV life goes, we have one tank that never shows empty so I tried a few things to clean the sensor... it didn't work. Oh well, we know how many showers before it's full.
Yesterday, I tried Key Lime pie FINALLY (I'm not sure I had ever had it before). It actually was not what I ordered. I was craving chocolate - big surprise, I love chocolate - but the piece of cake they brought out was awful and we sent it back. I think that's the first time I have ever sent food - let alone dessert - back. Our waitress brought the Key Lime pie out, on the house. What a lovely surprise! It was absolutely delicious so we left her a hefty tip!
Life is too short to not enjoy the things you love. I miss my family back home but man oh man, I love this life!
Well, I have work to do today. The crummy weather will likely keep us inside all day but that's quite alright, it allows me more time to create.
Much love to you all. Find your joy and cherish EVERY SINGLE MOMENT because it could end in an instant. Stop waiting for everything to be just right and live your best life possible. One day, you'll wake up and realize that everything has always been just right... because it got you to where you are. Full of joy, love and peace.
Patience and peace. And of course, gratitude. Those are key.
I have been blessed. Very blessed and that zen I was looking for has arrived. Day 98 was another mellow day- although, I went on a search for a new cell phone case. Mine stretched... or something... the soft plastic part got too big. Weird right. Well, of course, there's no S8 cases in the Keys. I will have to order it online or wait until we get further north. For now, I must be very cautious with my phone...I won't drop it... I won't, hopefully. 🤦♀️ I often have a dropping problem. I will keep my phone safe.
Day 99 we packed up and moved to our new spot. We were ready to go an hour before we had to leave but didn't want to leave early. You see, checkout time is typically 11am and check in at most places isn't until 1 at the earliest, so we'd already have time to kill since our spot was only a little way up the road.
We arrived at our spot a little after 11 and it was ready for us. Perfect!
But let me back track. We had been staying at Boyd's Key West RV Resort... well, like I said before, it was cramped. The RVs packed in like sardines. Backing in to our spot there would have been a challenge; but, thankfully their staff that helped us had taught trucker school so I did that 90° blind dock with ease and perfection.
Pulling out was much easier. But, before I get there, let me tell you about that place. As you can imagine, having tons of RVs crammed in one place can get noisy. Well, we also happened to be next to the Rec Hall where activities were going all day long (including what looked like jazzercise 😂). So that was often obnoxious. I love almost all music but some songs are annoying... and they played a lot of those. Then, Boyd's is located near the airport AND the naval base was flying jets over us regularly. Some so close to the ground it rumbled our bones (let alone the shaking of the trailer).
So, those things definitely didn't help me find the laid back attitude of island life.
Oh, and the pictures of Boyd's show a beautiful beach (as do our current location). Well, don't be fooled. Boyd's did have a beach, maybe 10ft long 😂 We do not have one here.
But, what we DO have here is quiet. This place is very peaceful and we've met a lot of people already. I backed into our spot (not as tricky as the last but still a tight squeeze) with very little trouble (we tried from one direction, it wasn't working out so went the other way and got in). After we set up, we went for a walk. It is SO quiet and laid back here. We love it.
My patience and peace paid off... yesterday, on day 100 of my travels, I got my first commission project of 2020. I will be taking photos of their adorable fur babies today and see if I can complete the painting before they leave... if not, they're fine with shipping costs but finishing it while they're here would be the ideal way. Less hassle.
That means I must try to complete the paintings currently on my easel. So, I must find that highly productive painter that I was in 2015 and 2016. Wish me luck! 😁
Because I was not stressed, at all yesterday on day 100... and I was truly grateful for what we have here - I think I was finally open to receive. So the universe provided. I wasn't going to go work by the pool yesterday...I was going to stay at home and paint. But, I felt prompted to go. So I went. I sat and wrote in my journal, then I made friends and got business.
Patience, peace and gratitude pay off.
I hope you can find yours! Love you all! TTFN ... I have some painting to do!
Follow up on the zen... oh boy did I have to practice it. The evening started out just fine after I wrote the last blog...we went and watched the sunset before going to get groceries; but, we had to get gas first.
My truck is diesel fueled... there's a station up the road from us. We go there and their pumps aren't working (this is after the attendant says "diesel should work"). Jordan goes inside because we're thinking that maybe if we pay with cash it'll function (their credit card machine was down earlier in the day) but it's no luck. We're on empty... the cashier says (in broken English) that we can fuel up at the station further up the road. Jordan emphasized that we need diesel, she said yes. So off we go.
Nope, no diesel. Definitely not feeling zen. After an hour since we left the sunset, we find a diesel station (yes, that's using Google after that cashier directed us wrong).
At this point, I'm hangry. Not zen at all. We still needed to go grocery shopping before we could eat dinner.
Jordan is a wonderful cook but I was so hangry, grocery shopping before dinner wouldn't have worked. So, we went and grabbed fast food. Jordan patiently putting up with my grumpy attitude.
My stomach didn't really appreciate it but, at least the hangriness was gone. 😂
Are there ever moments you feel you just need to get away from people? The crowds tend to make me crazy. We are now down to our final day living in Key West. I didn't feel the relaxation of the island. Maybe our next spot will be more relaxing.
I'm not saying I haven't enjoyed Key West...I just wasn't chill here. I tried. I just was irate for some reason. One thing I've noticed is my emotions from the last two years creep up... like a traumatic repeat...
But now that I'm recognizing it, I can release it. It's just annoying because this life is too short to not enjoy every moment. As my brilliant friend Melissa Walsh just messaged all her followers - this too shall pass.
So, I just go with the flow and do my part to keep moving toward my goals. One of which is to enjoy this life.
Yesterday we went snorkeling on the coral reef... the ocean side of the reef had 5 and 6 foot waves so our guides took us on the gulf side.
The waves were still big.
The water rough.
I'm not a strong swimmer.
We went out into the water. Before I knew it, I was in no man's land... struggling to go the right direction against the powerful waves.
At one point, I final got into a rhythm (I am not sure I've ever swam with flippers before so that was another part of the struggle) and got myself calmed down... and a big wave washed over me and right down my snorkel.
We saw a little bit of fish but nothing else. With the state of my being (I was not feeling calm at all) I didn't expect anything would be near me. I also questioned seeing anything with all the people in the water.
I did get the experience of it though. Jordan had fun, he's a strong swimmer. We got separated in the water (likely because he went the direction we were supposed to and I was washed away) so once I knocked my knee, then the flippers, on the reef... and I kept struggling to move where we were supposed to... I made my way back to the boat.
I wasn't sure I'd make it back for a few minutes. I was about to get very annoyed that I was going to have to wave my arms for help. But, I did it, and I wasn't even the first to return. There were almost a dozen people who had given up before me. Then, about 5 minutes later Jordan came back. He didn't see anything either... except a few fish... and he was concerned about me so he came back.
It wasn't the greatest adventure for seeing sea life. But it was still an adventure. If the seas are calmer when Jordan's brother and friend arrive next month - perhaps I'll try again. Maybe.
Now, I have work to do. Still two clients waiting patiently for their paintings so... gotta get to it.
Have a beautiful day! It's going to be a mellow one for us today. Love you all!
Oh... we watched the sunset - so I got my zen. Then, when we returned last night after snorkeling, our RV park was feeding everyone hot dogs. So we went and socialized for a few, ate free dinner, then returned to watch the championship football game. What a game!
I had a dream that I was traveling all over the world. In less than 6 months, I sold almost everything I own...bought a Toy Hauler (the "garage" is my art studio) and am now living wherever, whenever...just me, my art, and my cats.