Reading this article has made me take stock of the past 365 days.
A lot has happened, plenty has changed, some remains the same!
When approaching my 42nd birthday last year, we were living in Longmont. I was not working, but was spending my time studying for the NETA Group Fitness Instructor certification test. I wasn't sure where the certification would take me nor how long it would take to get there. I was just motivated to make a career change!
Just before taking my test, I started a 2-week free trial at Fit Chick Express. Within that two weeks, I had decided I would approach Angie, the gym owner, about an internship or the like. To my surprise and delight, SHE approached me with the subject first. I spent the summer leading boot camp classes, meeting & becoming friends with amazing women and helping Angie have some freedom (of time and finances) to enjoy the months leading up to her wedding.
I continued to delve into my health and wellness interests and received a specialty certificate, also from NETA, as a Longevity Wellness Specialist.
We volunteered at our first Denver ComicCon! Coming down from Longmont to work early shifts and then spending the afternoon walking the convention and having a bite to eat in the city.
We participated in our first Denver Pride! We enjoyed a day of activities at Civic Center Park, amid the sunshine & rainbows! We also were volunteers during the Pride Parade!
My mom made her first trip to Colorado, which included a trip to one of the dispensaries, of course! We took her to Boulder and Estes Park, two of our favorites. But heading into the mountains and back is not on any future itineraries for her! I flew back to Florida with her and spent a fantastic week with all of my family!!
I had the pleasure of a somewhat leisurely summer, affording me opportunities to forge relationships...strong friendships...with some of my Fit Chicks! While simultaneously becoming a confident fitness instructor! I knew I would have to leave the fun, friendly, crazy confines of Fit Chick Express in August, but I kept my focus on how much fun I was having, especially with the 6AM bootcampers!
At the same time, we were looking for our next apartment....in Denver! Chris did most of the actual looking at places, since he spent his workdays in the city, while I did internet searches. This would be our first time living the city life!! Looking for our next place was a little daunting....not as easy as I have experienced for our last two moves. We secured a roomy one-bedroom in an architecturally-stunning complex, Vitruvius.
I got my nose pierced!
We made our move, slowly, over the month of August. Our leases overlapped, so we would bring stuff down to the new apartment in our vehicles and packed up the rest in a moving truck near the end of the month.
Just like one year before, I was once again without work and friends. I started my job search right away and found myself working at Matrix Fitness & Spa at the beginning of September. I have enjoyed improving my fitness instructor skills while teaching (and getting certified in) TRX, an abs-centric class, cardio kickboxing (which they put on the schedule for me and which I grew from a 30-minute class to an hour!), a booty-focused class (again that I asked for), as well as getting to know many of my fellow trainers (personal and group) and getting the chance to sub the classes they teach!
I have continued to blog here and started a second blog, specific to travel. I am in the process of having my own website and plan to have it live by the end of this month! I want to migrate this site and my other to my website, where I will also post about Juice Plus + and fitness & wellness.
We adventured to Puerto Rico, spending most of that vacation off the main island on Vieques. While at first I didn't think I would like it much, we quickly discovered that a dream of our past bubbled to the surface. We made the decision during this amazing trip to move to an island....before retirement. We have made lists of islands to visit and are going to vacation over the next 3-5 years at each of them to figure out which one matches us & our dreams! We are growing our passions now and will continue to pursue them for pleasure and profit. We are also working on a plan to open either a small coffee/pastry truck or drink shack (Mojica's Banana Cabana)!!! Just something to make a little more money, but only take up a few hours each day.
We have made new friends in the city and spend time clubbing with them! We are living a 20-something life some weekends! Something we missed out on completely, since we were married & in college during those years.
I get to stay in touch with my Fit Chicks! I am hoping to become an integral part of the community again soon, albeit virtually, and I look forward to more times spent in person with the group and individuals: coffee dates, lunch breaks, Super Saturday workouts, stand-up paddle boarding!
The sun is shining today and I am sitting outside a coffee shop to write. I am on the verge of my first online business venture and, possibly, picking up a gig at a second gym. I get to teach Booty Blast, Power Abs and TRX tonite as I bid farewell to this past year.
I am on the eve of 43 today!
I am filled with ideas, inspiration, motivation and excitement for the fullness this next year holds in store!
As I approach another birthday (just 3 more days at 42), I am working on new projects in health & wellness! Just like last year, when I was studying for my Group Fitness Instructor certification, I am branching out in another new direction! I am becoming a Wellness Guide (aka distributor) for Juice Plus +.
Not a mulitvitamin, weight loss product or fitness supplement, the Juice Plus + capsules or chewables are 20-30 fruits, veggies and grains in a concentrated form to help bridge the gap between the fruits and veggies we are eating everyday and what we should be eating everyday. Even with the mindful and healthy eating we practice, I know that I am not hitting my optimal target consumption of fruits & vegetables! And I don't want to miss out on all the antioxidant goodness that keeps me free of illness and disease (like cancer)!
I am pursuing this company because it IS about health & wellness, from birth to death! You can start your infant as soon as he/she is eating solid foods! Just by opening up a capsule and mixing the powder into their foods!!! Also, Juice Plus + is committed to children's health! For each adult portion of capsules or chewables, you can receive FREE product for children ages 4-18. And, guess what?! It doesn't have to be your child! That's right! You can get them for your niece/nephew, grandchild, neighbor's kid, what have you! Check out the Children's Health Study for more details!
Isn't that awesome?! While working on keeping yourself healthy, you can start your child(ren) on the lifelong path of wellness!!! For FREE!!!!!
A friend, another fitness professional, Stephanie, introduced me to the product. She began purchasing (from another distributor) and liked it so much that she became a distributor herself just to get it for a discount! She also told me that she has not been sick, to include a cold or flu, in 2 years!!!!
My "upline", Melanie, told me that she began using it specifically FOR her kids! She had 3 boys, all under the age of 5, with the oldest sick every few months, to include hospitalization. He missed more pre-school than he actually attended! She started the boys on Juice Plus + about two months before the oldest began kindergarten. He only missed ONE DAY that school year!!! After about 9 months in, she decided she must become part of the company that did this for her family! That was 5 years ago!!
As many of you know, I am highly motivated to live my best, my healthiest, my most vital life! Neither of my parents did so and my father lost his life at the young age of 49 1/2 to colon cancer and my mother suffers from COPD. My maternal grandfather is a colon cancer survivor....so I have that "scare" from both sides of my genetic pool! Additionally, my paternal grandmother died from cancer (tho I don't know the primary source).
I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disorder related to the thyroid, and, for which, I have to take hormone replacement to supplement what my body (the antibodies) targets and destroys.
I am fit & active! I currently teach 6 group fitness classes: TRX, kickboxing, booty and abs! I sub as often as I am asked! Juice Plus + is a perfect complement to how I live my life and how I will continue to live my life ~ radiant, relevant, inspired!
Juice Plus + also offers a complete protein powder and nutrition bars. These would be ideal for weight loss (when used as a meal replacement), for fitness goals (protein to build muscles) and on-the-go snacks! Chris and I like to take protein powder on vacation as it is an excellent wake up meal!!!
I hope I can share this with you and we can be on that journey of living a long & healthy life together!
Also check out Transform30, where we can jumpstart your transformation! This is also a good "program" for those already involved in fitness & health as a recharge to your system to get beyond plateaus!!!
Our time on Vieques seemed to pass too quickly! We kept ourselves busy discovering what La Nena had to offer!
On our first full day, we walked along the Malecon of Esperanza all the way to the end of Sun Bay Beach. On our way, we saw a group of people around a boat & trailer and had to see for ourselves what the hubbub was all about. A local had two tiger sharks! He had caught them about 2 miles out!! The biggest was about 10 feet! Both had already been gutted, but were still alive! One guy opened the mouth of the big one to show us its teeth! It was crazy! And it was the one time Chris didn't bring a camera ~ so we have no "evidence"!
Later that same day, we walked west on the hunt for Playa Negra, a beach with black sand. You can't walk the beaches to get from one to the next, so we were left walking the road! We walked and we walked...and we walked some more. We headed down a dirt road that we thought must take us to the beach (any beach), but we were wrong. We saw some folks in a rented Jeep sort of doing the same search as us. As we walked back to the road, we see a sign pointing to the east (from where we had come) that said Playa Negra and to the west Playa Grande! Back the way we came, we see that same Jeep that had just tried, unsuccessfully, another dirt road. Well, from what I read on the internet, it said we would have to walk/hike a bit down through some brushy areas to get to Playa Negra. We felt that the people in the Jeep just weren't willing to go that "extra mile" and had turned around. We made our way to a clearing above a ravine-like spot. After searching a bit, we found a way to make it down to the beach. While we didn't see a beach completely of black sand, we did see some here & there (and when we dug our feet in, it was under the tan sand). But it was soooo beautiful here! Peaceful, empty, the vast waters stretching as far as the eye can see!
It wasn't a swimming beach, too rocky, so we took lots of pictures and did some exploring, then started our couple mile return walk. As we are walking and talking, we see another sign for Playa Negra. A bit confusing, as we thought we had just been there!! Walking still east, we spy a guardrail on which is painted, in blue, Playa Negra with an arrow. What? Where were we before? Well, we are a bit tired and hungry, but we can't not go find it! Right?!? We head into the ravine and walk along a tree-covered path to the real Playa Negra! Another absolutely breathtaking beach that isn't to be missed! I don't know how, on foot, we missed the "sign" but I can say that we are so happy we did because we would never have discovered OUR beach.
While looking through some of the tourist reading material our airbnb hosts, Margo & Joe, left in the Casita, I learned that the 1963 movie "Lord of the Flies" was shot on Vieques, all around Esperanza! "Lord of the Flies" happens to be one of Chris's favorite books, as well as movies. He had no idea of the connection! The beaches of Sun Bay, Media Luna, Navio and Playa Grande all played roles in the film! The old sugar mill and pineapple factory were used to house the cast & crew! The skeletons of the structures are still standing and we were able to make our way in and around them. Chris took some eery pics, where nature has moved in to reclaim her land.
We only spent leisure time at the beach twice. The first was an early evening on the beach along the Malecon. The second, and longest, was our last afternoon, where we swam & snorkeled at Media Luna.
We weren't there at a time when the sunrises or sunsets were at the water's edge south of Esperanza, but the evenings were warm & relaxing. (And we have seen, and will see, many sunrises & sunsets along the watery horizon!)
We decided to give a scooter rental a whirl! A first for me!! Tuesday morning, about 11, we headed off to continue our adventurous exploring! For the next 5 hours, we scootered to the beaches on the west side, in and out of woods, along bumpy dirt roads, never really knowing if we were going to find what we were looking for or have to backtrack! It was one of our best decisions! Chris did awesome keeping us safe, especially when where we were riding would have been best navigated with a 4X4!! We found all of the beaches on our map and discovered a couple that weren't! We saw where so many of the wild horses gather. We felt the wind & the sun ... and the pure joy that this mode of travel affords.
We headed up to the north to find Mosquito Pier. Constructed in 1941 by the U.S Navy, Mosquito Pier was to be extended from Vieques to the main island of Puerto Rico; however, the project was abandoned after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Today, scuba diving within its deep waters is popular. It is said this is a haven for sea turtles. In the more shallow waters leading to the pier, you will find starfish. We saw several, just standing on the rocks. Chris wanted to hop in, but it seemed risky, as it is very rocky here. (Of course, he regrets listening to me!)
We went into Isabel Segunda for a bite to eat. We were starving and pretty thirsty, having only one bottle of water that we rationed for 5 hours! We gassed up the scooter, grabbed some produce at the farmer's market (just as it was closing) and returned to Esperanza, buying another liter of sangria at La Tienda Verde. The next morning, we were up early, as usual, and hopped back on the scooter to visit beaches along the east.
We returned the scooter a couple hours early (to avoid using up any more gas because the only 2 gas stations are in the north). After a brief rest stop at the Casita, we re-packed our beach bag, to include snorkeling gear we borrowed from our hosts, and walked to Media Luna beach. We enjoyed a most relaxing afternoon of sun, sand and salt water. Chris snorkeled. I tried to snorkel! I swam and sat on my beach towel. We drank our sangria and ate hotdogs (warmed from the sun in our bag!)!!
That nite, our last nite, we did a bioluminescent bay tour! A MUST when you come to Vieques!! Pictures cannot do it justice. You simply have to be part of the experience for yourself. The sky was full of stars and numerous constellations ~~ it was like being inside a planetarium, but you are out there, in a kayak, looking up into the dark, vastness of our amazing galaxy!
There are three bio bays in Puerto Rico, with the one at Vieques' Mosquito Bay (not to be confused with Mosquito Pier) ranked the best. It is actually ranked among the top two or three in the world! Years ago, tour operators would allow guests to get out of their kayaks and swim in the bay. Not really knowing or understanding the delicate ecosystem of the dinoflagellates, what make the bay illuminate, the owners & guides were messing with the balance. Last year, I believe, the bay went completely dark! For months! I feel this was Mama Nature going dormant in an effort of self-preservation and to show humans that it was imperative they/we recognize the need to treat the bay differently!
Now....let me tell you a couple things: You are out there in complete darkness. The best time to take the tour is near a new moon (they won't even do tours near the full moon). The water is a black abyss. The bay is accessible to the Caribbean Sea, which means that anything out there can come into the bay. One of our tour guides said that 12 species of shark will be in & out of the bay!!! She also said that one nite while she & another guide were sitting in kayaks in the middle of the bay, a manta ray, with a wingspan as long as the kayak, swam beneath them!! And two couples on our tour saw something large swim below them....a shark, for sure! That said, there is no way, if it were still permissible, that I would get in that water!!! Even without the knowledge of how many species of shark or the manta ray story ~~~ this girl would not have been tempted to get out of the safety of the kayak!! No way, no how!
We saw fish swimming and jumping, their paths illuminated around us. I scooped up water a few times to see it like glitter in my hands. (And when our guide said it was good for the skin, I scooped up a bit more and bathed my face with it!!)
A woman from California was bitten by a shark a few years back. Because of this tragedy (she survived, it wasn't severe), rules & regulations that had been in place for years, but ignored, were now enforced. The entry to the bay saw improvements, too: a new parking lot, an illuminated walkway and a cleared dock/entry into the bay (where you get in the kayaks).
There was much we didn't experience, like walking the city streets of Isabel Segunda, finding the old military bunkers or seeing the archeological site where 2000 year old bones had been unearthed. There are a few well-known beaches on the east to which we didn't ride, but we saw so many others and wanted to just BE at Media Luna for hours (it is our favorite of all of the beaches, save for, maybe, Caballo Beach ~~ one we found and named!).
Vieques is an island about 4 miles long and 21 miles wide. It has beaches, forest and much in between. There are wild horses all around. You can spend your days exploring and/or lounging. There is no one way or wrong way to take in the splendor.
The past week, plus, has been a whirlwind of activity. Our time on Vieques brought to both of us a mind-shift.
Since before our return from Puerto Rico, we have been planning and strategizing how to live on an island before retirement age!! We have discussed other islands we would like to check out and know that over the next 5 years (or so) we will be taking tropical vacations to these places. Each island will be compared to previous ones as we assess where we want to set our compass (and send our few personal items that will join us). We, almost daily, discuss the pros and cons of island-life.
I am more motivated than ever to improve and build on my abilities as a fitness instructor. This is a "job" I can and will take with me anywhere we go! Workouts on the beach??! Who wouldn't join me in that??!! I plan to attain Pilates and Kettlebell certifications. I am going to pursue more training and practice with my own personal workouts to bring the best instruction I can to my own life and to my classes.
I have been working on my blogs, having created a new one about travel immediately upon our return. I am in the process of creating a website, a one-stop-shop, for all of my musings, interests and pursuits.
I am researching health and wellness products that I can offer and that can help create income now and when we are living the tropical life! I continue to read and educate myself about wellness, nutrition, longevity.
But it is very easy to get caught up in this whirlwind!! We are all guilty of going from one thing to the next, day after day, often on autopilot. Sometimes, I need to apply the brakes and remind myself to look around, be mindful, soak in the sunshine, radiate gratitude.
I am fairly certain that many of us grew up with a rough idea of what our "adult" lives would be. For many of you, what you dreamed, imagined, planned for, worked toward is exactly what you live. For others, your life is a pretty close approximation of how you figured it would turn out. The job, the family, the marriage, the home, etc. ~ the "American Dream". And for others still, you had "the good life" but, by mistake or accident, you are in a place you didn't expect. Then, there are a few who could never have anticipated the changes to come, how life would unfold.
I have come to believe, as many of you probably have, too, that what so many share on Facebook (or other social media, but I don't participate on those) is not completely authentic....sometimes, all-out false. And I wonder, WHY?! Why are these people, some I have known since high school (maybe earlier) and others that are more new to me, so caught up in their stories? Why are they so afraid to be real? Why do they only share what makes them "look good" or, more than likely, what makes them look better than everyone else they know!? I often wonder if these are smoke screens, a game of mirrors.
I have recently learned of divorces and serious health problems that have befallen a couple folks whom I know from high school. The same ones who will share all the "look at me, I'm so successful, I have so much money, my house is amazing, I drive only expensive luxury cars"......and on & on! A razor sharp focus on the outward "signs of success".
Often, I have unfriended this type of person on Facebook. I don't need those lifestyle things for my happiness or my health! I can't stand to be assaulted with the Kardashian-esque behavior. I like to interact, even virtually, with authentic, real, compassionate, grateful & truly happy people.
When I make the time to interact with the people I want in my life, I am surprised and pleased to learn of the amazing things they are doing, accomplishing, sharing in their lives! It inspires me! It helps keep me grounded and grateful and hopeful!!
I have chosen, over the years, to live a more minimal lifestyle. I don't find pleasure in things. I like to save my money to spend on experiences with Chris. I enjoy my free time ... that I can have because I don't have to work myself to death to pay all the bills for all of that expensive stuff. I can focus on my happiness, on my health, on my hobbies, on crafting my life and my future.
I never really had a life vision or plan. Well, I take that back! I did intend to move to California after high school graduation, attend cosmetology school and be a makeup artist and hair stylist for movies! I believe I could have pursued that...with Chris in tow! I don't think I ever really discussed it with him, tho, and we both just stayed in our hometown, eventually attending colleges. Coincidentally, Chris ended up attending a school where he obtained a degree in film & video!!! However, it seemed that at that point, when I already had a degree in criminal justice, that any dream of moving to California was dead.
So, my life (our life) over these years has played out in many ways, some expected (in line with the way things are traditionally done: marriage, get decent jobs, buy a home) and others a bit more whimsical (move to Florida where Chris got a job, move back to Indiana without jobs, sell our house for a move to Colorado with no jobs!).
Yet, the biggest change is one that I would NEVER ~ could never ~ have anticipated or planned. But, Chris and I love each other deeply, so we work on our marriage and our relationship. We live our life. We are thankful for what we have, most especially our health. We aren't consumed by the hype of pleasing anyone, other than ourselves. We won't create smoke & mirrors, putting ourselves into debt, living a falsehood. I don't need to impress anyone.
I feel sad for those people who showed all those photos of how super amazing his/her life was, but who are deeply in debt, divorced, were deceitful (to spouses and the FB community) and, worst of all, seriously ill. The stress of "keeping up with the Joneses" is real ~~ and it will create a giant impact. An impact that will scream for attention and if you continue to ignore it, it will be to your detriment: your health, your marriage, your business, your family.
I seek Abundance in my life, but it is not simply a financial equation. Abundance of health, happiness, longevity, vitality, wellness. An Abundance of gratitude, compassion, love, laughter and adventure. Abundance of insight, of mindfulness, of perspective, of generosity. I seek Abundance for my family and friends, too.
This is just a gentle reminder to stop and smell the roses, I guess! Check in with yourself everyday. Take stock. See how fortunate you are and be thankful. For all the health, love, happiness, compassion and generosity that surrounds you is life, is success, is the bottom line (as well as the starting line and the finish line!!)!!
I have a spouse who is my best friend and with whom I like to spend most of my time! I have my 2 furbabies (who are both cuddled with/near me in bed...my office...as I type), who give me unconditional love and playtime! I have the love & support of my family and so so many friends. I can participate in so many activities because I have my health and it is one of my top priorities. I have enough food to eat and can enjoy a glass of wine, if I want. I have time to read, to surf the interwebs, to hang in a coffeeshop and write. I have more than some, less than others ~ but I don't need much so I don't have much. I can talk with my mom on the phone, usually once a week, to catch up with her and the rest of my Florida family members.
There are so many more things I could list. I find that once I start my list, I can always find more and more to add! I suspect you will find the same! From the "little" to the "big" stuff. Shine the light on the good, the positive, aspects that bring you joy each day.
'Sacred Dimensions of Women's Experience' is the name of a book by Elizabeth Dodson Gray that I read during our travels, filling time on the plane rides. I picked it up at this spot in our laundry area where our fellow apartment dwellers (and ourselves) will leave things, like books, coffeepots, various other household items and, just this week, I saw a ratty sombrero! I grabbed two books; if I didn't like one, then I could try the other!
'Sacred Dimensions of Women's Experience' is a collection of autobiographical stories, written in topics such as: Women's Creativity, Creating Sacred Space, Feeding as Sacred Ritual and Our Bodies as Sacred.
I am not a "traditionally" spiritual person as the women authors in this book are; however, the concept of the sacred, especially as it relates to the divinity within women, is part of my personal spiritual practice.
I would like to share some passages that struck a chord with me.
From the Introduction:
A woman walks the tightrope of her life as an accomplished high wire artist, making it look easy to juggle many balls while riding a bicycle and keeping aloft a pink parasol.
But I now feel that finding my own voice and listening and connecting to the voices of other women so that together we form a collective women's voice, is sacred work.
My power emerges from the wellsprings of who I am and reaches out to touch and connect with the lives of other women on similar journeys.
I am a conscious celebrant of the possible.
What I have come to see is that in our ability to live our creativity daily and in our search for such creativity, we can look as high as our creating life itself and living, and as low as the table set, the meal cooked and consumed, the dishes washed and put away. And we begin in this creativity again and again and again.
Back in the kitchen, I look out the window at the huge maple in my yard. Losing its leaves, it is prepared for another winter, I muse at its majesty and think I, too, must let go of the past season's fruit and growth to meet empty-handed tomorrow.
In describing the wisdom that is available to those who take the time to listen to the aged, (Irene) Burnside points out that the aged can teach us about life, death, courage, love and generosity. They are a "distinguished faculty without formal classrooms, tenure, sabbaticals. They teach not from books but from long experience in living."
In these moments of deep harmony together as mother and daughter, I was slowly becoming aware of the healing presence of the sacred.
Listening has become for me not only the language of love buy my pathway to an increasing consciousness of the sacred.
From Creating Sacred Space:
We moved to an intuitive response to the potential of water as a symbol of women's spirituality.
Recalling this now, I find myself thinking of God when God made the first rainbow, perhaps asking Herself, Does this color go right next to that color?
If our sensual and sexual lives are a gift from God given to us by the gift of our bodies and our lives and our love, then bedrooms should facilitate by scent (perfume, incense), by sound (music), and by sight a holy and satisfying erotic life.
The rooms my friend created in house after house tracked the changes in her life and spirits as they unfolded decade by decade.
Surrounding the primal pair are whirling lotus spheres, potent with Shakti, female cosmic energy, the activating force of nature.
Even more important, there is the need to acknowledge and honor those biological changes in our bodies which are unique to us as women and which constitute our rites of passage. We need to honor our body changes of menstruation, sexual initiation, and menopause.
It is a tapping into the collective ground water that flows among us; the collective energy of the goddess, the liberating, transforming power which is in each of our sisters and in the sister within our brothers.
We must lift up life-giving symbols and keep them before us as symbols of our woman's identity, symbols of our empowerment, our questioning, our imagination and creativity, our energy and loyalty, our nurturing and love.
From Doing Housework:
Cleaning the house becomes a metaphor for opening the heart; I am literally cleansed when I am working with the right intention.
The linking back in time provided by this kind of knowledge is one of the major benefits that ritual enactment bestows on its participants. In such enactment women celebrate the unstoried pattern of Hestia, goddess of the hearth.
From Feeding as Sacred Ritual:
Woman is as common as a loaf of bread, and like a loaf of bread, will rise.
Such work becomes sacred, I now think, when we focus creative energy into doing something, or making something, that contributes to the health and healing, to the well-being and wholeness, of ourselves and others.
From Our Bodies Are Sacred:
In this bonding women are beginning to accept and affirm our natural diversity of size, shape, weight, handicap, age, race, and sexual orientation.
As she felt the fathomless power of this place, she had a sudden vision, a voice--perhaps ancestral, perhaps her own--ringing in her mind's ear saying, "I am the oldest temple. This, my body, is the oldest temple."
The ending of one family and the beginning of a "family of choice" is just as sacred as traditional definitions of family.
I have learned to trust that when my writing is most open and vulnerable, it is also most powerful, most likely to touch a chord and to influence change in others.
It is not surprising that in Western societies the Crone aspect of the goddess of earlier times has never existed in any of her forms except in a negative way.
However the old witch is not burned at the stake any more. She has been replaced by the benign grandmother who, unlike the witch, is perceived as a useless object.
Yes, my body is myself, and related to the universe. It is indeed sacred.
...rejoicing is the flow of Being in the universe. This rejoicing, this flow of being, is the intention of creation. This is the intention of the overflowing and bubbling up energy of creativity which has brought everything in this 193-billion galaxy universe into being.
It had perfect places but I had to seek them out and enjoy them and make use of them. Then like the birds and their nests, I had to sense changes and know I'd seek other perfect places, other places to sing and to be.
Perhaps we have only to step one microsecond to the side, into our own centeredness, to find that deep connectedness to the whole chorus, and to come home again to ourselves.