Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Life ~ Whirlwinds, Unexpected Changes & Abundance

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 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.

"When you invite Abundance, she comes to dine at your table."
(Mama Gena aka Regena Thomasauer)


  1. Wow! Very well written. As I read your article I had to step back and take notice. Nope my life has not turned out to be what I had envisioned. Not at all. When one looks at my Facebook page you will mostly find happy things happening in my life. Not because I'm pretending nothing bad happens in my life but because those are private battles that I chose to share with my closest friends (you) and I celebrate the good gifts in my life. Most of those do not include a large price tag. Like friendships and family - those are priceless.

    Thank you for always being there and for always encouraging me and reminding me to look for the positives.

    1. Of course, I thought of you during this writing, knowing full well that you found yourself in a new place rather suddenly....not at all what any of us would have expected, right? :) There are many people who are braggards on FB (social media, as a whole) and it is to those I am referring. I don't put everything up online, either, choosing, like you to have personal relationships where I share most everything (good & bad). Yet, there are some who put so much out there, all rainbows, sunshine and unicorns, and it is rather false, and seem inauthentic to me. When posting the happy, the positive, the inspirational, my hope is that the poster is experiencing (or working on experiencing) this life and not just giving a show. I love you, my friend! I thank you for being who you are and for being a big part of my life! I wish we could live closer, but our bond grew very quickly and solidly in the short time we had face-to-face. I cannot be more happy for you that you have come out of your deep despair and hurt and are opening yourself up to love!


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