Birthdays, Weather and Breathing

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COME ENJOY A COMPLIMENTARY MEDITATION SESSION.

Well, it’s my birthday weekend and the weather is doing its thing. I was reminded by several friends how my birthday weekend can be very interesting. As I was thinking about what I wanted to do, it occurred to me that all I really wanted to was to simply be home and relax. I wanted to Be Still. I had my monthly meditation program, Meditations & Conversations on Sunday, so being home was exactly where I wanted to be. My usual tradition is to take the day off from work so my husband and I prepared to be home for a few days based on the weather reports.  The weather certainly has a way of helping you remember what is important.

I’ve been really paying close attention to things for a few years now. Once the weather reports recommended people stay home on Saturday, I knew where I would be. At home, warm and toasty ready to relax and unwind. Friday evening I pulled out my craft tools and settled in to create. I altered a clipboard and a few journals on Friday night. Saturday I woke up and decided I would follow the suggestions of the weather professionals and stayed  home. I sent a text to my sister-in-law and niece to postpone my birthday lunch. When my husband went outside to get something out of the car, the door was frozen. I smiled at him and said,
“I guess that is confirmation that we should stay home today.”

Bliss clipboardSmile journalAR journals

I have been a planner all my life. It’s funny how we make plans and continue going in that direction no matter what is going on… we made plans, right?  We can’t possibly not do what we “planned” to do.  The more I continue to get still, the less I find myself being able to plan as I have in the past. I am learning to connect with what is most important for me to do and move in that direction. I’m going with the FLOW…Feeling Loving Open Willing to pay attention to what is the next best thing for me to do.

Start off the year with#selfcare and Recharge. Replenish. Reconnect. If you are in Atlanta please be my guest at my Meditations & Conversations at Juiceez Etc. at 2:00 PM.  The details are in the attached flyer, I hope to see you there.

I’d love to hear how you are FLOWING and connecting with life. Please share your comments below.

 

M&C 1.24.16

Opportunities for giving

It’s that time of the year. We see Give…Give…Give… EVERYWHERE. Yesterday I donated blood at the American Red Cross  and had an interesting conversation with the people assisting me. Usually when I give blood I can get in and out very quickly, I have good veins and I don’t usually have issues with blood flow. Denise did the initial questioning and set up prior to the actual blood donation and started the process. I was prepared and started reading my book, Brida, which a friend just recently passed on for me to read.

As I sat reading my book, Georgia was called over to assist Denise and after a few moments I asked what was happening. Georgia made some adjustments and my blood began to flow generously. Joshua came over to check on me and to end the donation process. The holiday season is always an opportunity for conversations around a lot of topics, giving being near the top of the list.

He was quite passionate about giving and concerned about the emphasis on giving gifts during Christmas. Joshua talked about how so many Christians focused so much money and energy on buying gifts. We chatted and I reminded him of the power of ONE…Every ONE. I suggested that he could be an example to others of how to share that loving, giving spirit that comes with the holiday year round. I laughed and reminded him that his name was Joshua, from the Bible, and he smiled in recognition of the story of his name. Every day we have opportunities to be examples of how we “say” we want the world to be. We are the ultimate examples of living by our example.

I have been donating blood for several years. I’ve gone from donating about once a year to at least 3-4 times a year. Taking time out of my day (about 1 hour or less) a few times a year is one of the ways I give throughout the year.

Share your thoughts about how you give year round, I’d love to hear from you! See an original poem of mine below:

Opportunities
by Barbara J. Faison

Every day we have opportunities around us.
Every day we have fear walk up to us.
Every day we have love run away.
Every day we have choices we must make.
As this day unfolds make your life as you choose.
As this day springs to life, choose what you will bring forth and do so with love, honesty and compassion.
As this day goes on, continue to share your abundance with others.

Opportunities are all around us.
We have an opportunity to:

Offer assistance to someone in need.
Share a kind word.
Speak to a stranger.
Give from our heart.
Believe in good things.
Inspire others to soar!
Love someone patiently.
Hope for the best.
Expect kindness.
Be kind.

As this day ends, be grateful for the beauty you have experienced.

How Are You Living by Design?

How are you living by design?

In 2009,  I took a few months to “be still” so I could “get clear” and then “choose well.” I started drinking fresh “live” juices as a part of my diet, I vacationed in Puerto Rico and was able to enjoy the company of great friends, wonderful weather and of course, salsa dancing.  I have been fine tuning my personal guidance system (PGS) and I am continuing to create the life experiences I desire.

Social media has continued to climb in usage from Facebook, to Twitter, to You Tube.  I’ve returned to embracing aspects of technology including Facebook and this blog as ways to stay connected.  As human beings we have the power of choice. We often forget that we have the ability to fully engage in life or to simply live our lives on auto pilot. I am choosing to “Live by Design.”

It’s been 10 years since I wrote my book, Why Struggle? life is too short to wear tight shoes and yes, I’m still meditating daily and still recommending everyone, (yes, everyone can benefit) take at least a minimum of five minutes (300 seconds) to be still…so they can get clear… and choose well. Here’s a quick meditation for you. This one minute meditation will remind you to BREATHE – http://bit.ly/8GQ5th.

If you are looking for stocking stuffers  or gifts for the holiday season, I’m offering several specials on my website, www.dontstress.net, for my book and cd.

I’m completing my program, “Live More, Stress Less” in a few weeks and will be offering this course as well as a few other programs live and virtual programs in 2010.  I am on Facebook and would enjoy connecting with you if we aren’t already connected you can reach me at facebook.com/barbarafaison.

Please share this blog with your friends, family, colleagues or organizations.  If you are interested in mini-workshops, group sessions or book clubs, email me at barbara@dontstress.net.   I also want to know what things you are doing to create the life you desire.

Remember to take the time to be still, get clear and choose well so you can Live By Design.

How are you living? (Part II) Fresh Juice Recipes

my green juice

                                               Fresh Juice Recipes

I decided to list the fresh juices I have been trying and some recommended
suggestions from friends who have been juicing longer than I.  As I get better with
the combinations I will share the amounts, right now I’m just looking at what I have
andguessing what amounts will produce the amount of juice I want, it’s pretty fun.

This is getting interesting and I’m getting creative as Gregory notes in another post.
Here are the juices I’ve freshly juiced thus far along with the others from friends.

Barbara’s Juice Combos
8/29/09 – Pineapple and pear – VERY YUMMY!
8/30/09 – Spinach, celery, parsley, kale & apple
8/31/09 –  Leek, spinach, romaine lettuce, celery, a little bit of red pepper and
ginger – pretty SPICY
9/1/09 –     Cucumber, romaine lettuce, parsley, celery, kale, apple and a little bit of
ginger – light tasting
9/2/09 –    Spinach, red kale, apple, a little bit of giner, celery, and parsley – I had
some leftover stuff and and threw it all in the batch
9/3/09 –    Celery, cucumber, red kale, spinach and a little bit of ginger
9/4/09 –    Red Kale, red bell pepper, gala apple and little bit of ginger
9/5/09 –    3/4 cored pineapple, 1 grapefruit, small sliver of ginger
9/6/09 –    1/2 cored pineapple, 1 pear, 1 peach, small sliver of ginger – YUMMY!
9/7/09 –    carrot, apple & a small sliver of ginger – Pretty good
romaine lettuce, dino kale, celery, apple, a small sliver of ginger -good

9/8/09 –    Romaine lettuce, dino kale, celery, apple, a small sliver of ginger -good
9/9/09 –    8 carrots, 1 gala apples, sliver of ginger – Pretty good- made about 12 oz.
9/10/09 –  1/2 Cantalope – Pretty good – made about 5 oz.
9/11/09 –  Dino kale, spinach, green apple, sliver of ginger – okay.
9/12/09 –  Pineapple, pear – good
9/13/09 –   Dino kale, 1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/14/09 –   Dino kale, 1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger  (okay)
9/15/09 –  1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/16/09 –  1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/17/09 –   Dino kale, 1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger  (okay)
9/18/09 –   Dino kale, 1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger  (okay)
9/19/09 –   1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/20/09 –   1 small beet root, celery, romaine lettuce, sliver of ginger (okay)
9/21/09 –   Carrots, 1 gala apples, sliver of ginger – Pretty good
9/22/09 –  endive, romaine lettuce, apples, ginger – (too strong ;-(

Here’s one from Gregory Fitzpatrick, thanks for the amounts. 🙂
Carrot, beet, parsnips, and ginger. Try starting out with 2 or 3 parsnips,
1/4 of a medium size beet, 1/2 the length of your thumb of ginger, 5 carrots.
Yummy. Then play with it on amounts.

Asia Hadley, likes kale and apple,  thanks for sharing. 🙂 Check out her blog at http://beaconsfrontline.com/

There are many resources on juicing and benefits of doing so you can
search to check out different thoughts about it.

Here’s a great overview from my Wellness Center- Life Empowerment Institute:
http://www.trustedhands.com/content/juicingarticle.html

I’ d love to list your favorite juices and suggestions, so please share. I can’t wait to
to see what you come up with.

How are you living? Part I- (Healthy Eating)

Embrace Change
How am I treating my body?

Living by design means to consciously create the life you want to live.
Every moment of our lives we are making choices that will have a tremendous
effect on what we do.  Some of the things we might do include eating, talking,
drinking, laughing and sharing our life experiences.

A few things to consider as we are creating the lives we want to live:

How am I treating my body? What type of loving care am I giving my body to
show my appreciation? Am I eating (most of the time) foods that are nourishing
and healthy?

Last week I agreed to support a friend who had started juicing fresh fruits and
vegetables.  I believe that if things come into my life a few times, and I am paying
attention, I need to act on them.  When Kym mentioned that she was doing
fresh juices, I knew I had to do something; the third time was the charm.
I own a very nice juicer from over four years ago when I played around with
fresh juices then. Plus, my chiropractor, Dr. Cara has been recommending
that I add it back into my diet for awhile now.
So, off to juicing I go.

I made the commit to start to add fresh fruit and veggie juices into my eating plan
and I’ve been enjoying getting creative with the options.  I’ve listed below a few
juices I’ve tried.

Green veggies:
*Spinach, kale, celery, parsley, romaine lettuce, apple
*Cucumber, romaine lettuce, parsley, celery, apple
*Romaine lettuce, kale, apple, ginger – my favorite so far

Fresh fruit juice:
I had 2 pears that were on their way out, I mixed with some fresh pineapple…YUMMY

Let me know how you are living and appreciating your body with healthy foods and
nutrition.  If you have a favorite juice, please share with us.

Opening the door

Opening the door to being still

Opening the door to being still

Five Ways to find time to “Be Still”

Greetings,
Okay, here’s the deal.  I have so many people tell me they can’t find the time to Be Still so they can Get Clear…and then Choose well.  Here are a few ways to add this essential practice into your life.  Some of these may be a bit amusing, but they have been proven to work.

1.  When driving in the car – don’t turn on music or radio or talk…simply
drive and pay attention to what’s around you.
2.   When in the bathroom – at home or work – take an extra few minutes
and  close your eyes and breathe in and out for a few moments.
3.   When you take a lunch break – go to a room or outside and sit and take
in a few conscious breaths.
4.   If you have children, I’ve been told going into the closet is a great place
to hide out for a few minutes.
5.  When you get to work or your destination…sit in the car for a few
minutes and breathe in and out.

Remember, taking the time to Be Still and connecting with your breath plants you into the PRESENT moment.  Focusing on breathing takes away your emphasis on thinking and puts you in a state of BEING.

Let me know if any of these work, or if you any thoughts you would like to share.

What do you move to?

Salsa dancing
I’ve made a commitment to do more cardio in my workouts so I’ve been riding the bike and walking on the treadmill. I enjoy  salsa dancing as a form of exercise and fellowship.  If  I could dance salsa all the time that would be great. I am committed to do more cardio in other ways so that means I need a little help to keep me pumped up. I was listening to one of my workout playlists which consists of 11 songs.

A few of the lyrics stuck in my mind as I was walking on the treadmill.  I love music and movies as great teaching tools and reminders of life lessons. Songwriters are artists and often say things more eloquently than we can through their expressions of songand art. A few excerpts from these songs are below – they are great reminders of things about life- these are a few wonderful reminders of  knowing who you are, being comfortable with who you are and being hopeful.

Who are you? are you really a gem – then don’t be a hard rock and pretend to be someone you aren’t

Lauren Hill’s –  Doo Wap Song -“That Thing Called Love” – for the girls – “don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem. Respect is just the minimum.” For the guys – “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within…come again.”

Are you comfortable in your own skin?
Mary J. Blige’s – “Work That”
“Let em get mad
They gonna hate anyway
Don’t you get that?
Doesn’t matter if you’re going on with their plan
They’ll never be happy
Cause they’re not happy with themselves ”

What are you hopeful about?

India Arie’s – “There’s Hope”

“There’s hope.
It doesn’t cost a thing to smile.
You don’t have to pay to laugh.
You better thank God for that.”

Music changes your brain chemistry and helps when you exercise.  One of my workout playlists is below:

Whatta Man- Salt & Pepa
 I Am Not my Hair- India Arie
We B. Doing it -Quincy Jones
Georgy Porgy- Eric Benet
There’s Hope – India Arie
Doo Woop(That Thing) – Lauren Hill
Bring it On – Seal
Hit the Road Jack- Ray Charles
Shoop- Salt & Pepa
Just Fine- Mary J. Blige
If That was your Boyfriend – Michelle Ndegeocello.

Let me know any lyrics that resonate with you by leaving a comment below.

Three Tips for Designing your Holiday Season

Life is Peaceful.

Life is Peaceful.

How are you feeling about the holiday season? Some people find this time of the year exciting and love the energy that it brings.  Other people find this time emotionally challenging due to many personal circumstances.  Take the time to check in with yourself to see how you are feeling these days. The holiday season is here and will come around every year at the same time. This is your opportunity to design the experience you want to live. Here are a few tips to consider as you decide how you want to create your holiday season:

Be Grateful. Take a moment to really take a serious look at where you are right now. Remember that the news is designed to provide updates on things that are not necessary positive. The media and people around us may paint a picture that may not apply to what is happening in your world. What are you tuning into these days?  How often are you tuning in? How are your emotions affected by what you listen to, who are you are around? There is always something to be grateful for: sight, touch, taste, hearing, talking, walking. Be creative and find something.

Be Engaged! Don’t you love technology? I do. The internet, cell phones and computers allow us to feel connected as often as we want to. We can email, instant message, and text message people any time we feel the urge. Take the time over the holidays to be more engaged in person with people and allow the technology to rest.  There is nothing more special than having heartfelt conversations and laughing and enjoying good company.  How can you connect more with the people you enjoy spending time with? Ask yourself, do I really need to have the cell phone on when were are together? Your family, friends, and people you are with will appreciate this simple gesture.

Be Thoughtful. Every moment you have a choice. Even when you don’t feel like you have a choice, you do. Take the time to pay attention to what you are feeling and how you are responding to people around you. Are you spending time with the people you really want to be with right now? If you are that is wonderful! If you aren’t, get clear about how you want to change that picture. Every moment is an opportunity to be mindful about the choices you make every day. When you decide what you want, move in the direction that will get you where you want to be. 

Remember that CALM and CHAOS come from the same place, your mind. 😉  Be ever wonderful and make the choices that allow you to create the life you want to live!

Let me know your thoughts by clicking the comment button, I’d like to know what you have to say.

Be Accountable: Do You have AP’s ™?

Have you ever needed to do something and lacked the motivation? I have struggled with this in the past and often in the present. I would start a project and in the middle of it I would find something more interesting to do and move on to it before I finished. My I (idea) to I (implementation) ratio was very low.  It was around 5:1. I needed help. I had to find a way to increase my I:I. I came up with the idea of having an AP™.

An AP™ is an accountability partner. The AP is who you report to about the status of your project, idea or task to be sure that you are held accountable.  Here’s my example: I needed to recreate my script for my meditation cd before I could record it in the studio. My AP for this project was Wendy Y. She is one of my regular AP’s so I called her and told her what I needed to do and by when. The role of the AP is simple and specific.

The AP needs to know two things; 1. What needs to be done and 2. When it needs to be done. When I started using an AP™ my ratio was much better, it was 2:1.

Why did I need an AP? I needed to be held accountable. I knew that I couldn’t depend on motivation and inspiration to get me through, I needed discipline and commitment.  Knowing I had to call Wendy Y on April 29th kept me focused and I was determined to call her and say, “Wendy Y, I finished my cd script early.”  And I did. I often complete things faster when I have an AP involved.Why does this strategy work? Often time we are more accountable to someone else than we are to themselves. The AP approach works very well for me and I encourage you to try it.

There are three easy steps, here’s what you do:
1.  Who – decide who will be your AP™.
2.  What – decide what you need to get done.
3.  When – tell your AP when you need to have your project/task completed- be realistic.

What happens if you don’t get your project/task done by the timeframe you desired? Let your AP know the new timeframe, if you are still interested in completed the project/task.If things have changed, you can always find another project/task. There is always something to be done.Your AP can be different people based on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are on a team with people, you may choose to pick someone involved on that team. An AP is a great way to develop and enhance discipline around specific projects and get things done more timely.

Let me your thoughts by clicking on the comments and leaving me your thoughts.

Living by Design: 5 Ways to it Do NOW!

Every day we have opportunities to grow and create the lives we truly want. Each day we must truly venture to “live by design” in order to create a truly divine and magnificent life. Being responsible and accountable for the day we design and the energy we bring to everything requires that we live consciously aware of each moment and the choices that we make – for they will indeed have consequences.

 1.  Embrace change. A dog is a dog every day. A cat is a cat every day. As humans, we have the potential to change every second of every day. Life is beautiful. Life is wonderful. Life is filled with change. We are humans with the amazing ability to CHANGE, our minds, our will, our behaviors, any time. Learn to embrace change as a life partner and welcome opportunities to grow.

2.  Create your own standards. Why is the color blue called blue? Why isn’t the color blue called yellow? Someone defined the colors just as someone defined the holidays and any other point of reference. The reason we celebrate anything in life is because there was a standard set and people believed it. I believe every day is a new day and a new year. I don’t have to wait until January 1st to plan to make changes. Think about your life and redefine standards so they work for you and the life you want to design.  

3.  Balance Technology. Cell phones. Instant messaging. Text messaging. Computers. Technology has no discretion, humans do. We lived for hundreds of years without 24 hour, 365-day access to people. A ringing phone does not require a response. Take time to become aware of your habits and patterns.  Take the time to sit and talk to people in person and ENGAGE with them only. Turn off the technology. Make the effort to be present when you are with someone; turn the phone off or let voicemail do what it was designed to do, take a message.

4.  Say NO when you want to. We are adults, so we have to engage in adult behaviors. Repeat after me,“I am an adult and totally responsible for my life.” That’s it. Make choices for yourself and not for other people. When you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. An explanation is not required. People adjust over time as our behavior changes. No more excuses. No more doing things you really don’t want to do. Be polite when you tell people no. Take a big step to managing your time and life by making the choice to say no.

5.  Appreciate your time. Are you spending time with people you don’t want to? We have all probably done this at some time in life. Being with people who don’t nourish and encourage you is deteriorating your health. Ask yourself this question, “When I talk to _____, do I feel energetic or tired?” Instead of spending time with people who are sucking the life out of you, spend time with yourself.

Let me know your thoughts by clicking the comment button, I’d like to know what you have to say.

Is Multitasking Productive?

Do you believe that multitasking makes you more productive? I was thinking about this topic this morning as I walked my mother’s dog, Lacee while visiting in my hometown, Albany, GA.  Walking is a type of meditation that I enjoy practicing when I take the time. I usually walk strictly for exercise prior to a serious workout, so it was great to walk at a nice pace and enjoy nature.  Albany has beautiful trees, flowers and plants and the sounds of birds, crickets and nature always remind me of the joy of being alive and in the present moment.

Getting back on topic now. Multitasking provides the illusion of being more productive. Doing more than one thing at a time initially seems very productive until I really thought about what I was doing. Right now, I am typing this blog, listening to my mother and the tv is on in the background with the movie, Shopgirl playing. Oh, and I forgot, I just checked Google for thoughts on multitasking and found this blog, The Myth of Multitasking: How Doing it All Gets Nothing Done. Is that really productive?

Of course not, not really. However we convince ourselves that I can get some thing done or a few things done or maybe one thing done.One great sage, my mother, often says, “Focus, baby, don’t scatter your energy.” Great words from a wise woman.

Let me know your thoughts by clicking the comment button, I’d like to know what you have to say.

Be Still: Why Do That?

     Meditation-Om. The sound of the word can create images of monks sitting crossed legged chanting words you don’t understand.  Or maybe people in flowing robes espousing words of universal love.  Forget your preconceived ideas of what you may think meditation is and focus on the results of regular practice. Take a moment to imagine a day that starts out peaceful and clear and well executed. Silence is a way to add to your spiritual bank account. Peace of mind, clarity and focus are some of the results of regular meditation.

     Meditation is the process of letting go of the thoughts in your mind so you can release and recharge. Meditation for me is the process of going inside to reconnect with myself. It allows me to let go. I have become more clear and focused and that allows me to make better choices.When meditation was first suggested to me it didn’t make sense.  Being still?  Are you kidding? What could I learn from silence? I was a talker. Who would I talk to? I enjoyed thought provoking conversations.  I didn’t get it at all. My connection with my inner spirit was robably there but it was temporarily disconnected due to lack of funds.  At 30 I had not learned that the currency required for my spiritual bank account was in the form of being still. I was being proactive by seeking out information from sources like people, books and classes.  I was not interested at all in being still.  Stillness didn’t seem like a way to learn anything.

     In 1995 I started dabbling with meditation a few times a week.  I didn’t want to commit to the practice.  I was afraid to be still. I was afraid of what I might find out about myself. Quiet Barbara scared me. I started meditating very slowly and with hesitation. I was still not convinced I would really benefit from silence. It took several years before I decided to create a daily spiritual practice that included some form of meditation.  I used a guided cassette daily in the morning and learned to be still.  When I decided to embrace meditation as a natural process for growth and development I began to understand the power of silence. I saw myself grow like a newly watered flower.

     Now, I won’t leave my house without my meditation time. If I am running late, I will be 5 minutes later.  Meditation recharges my internal batteries. Every morning I sit on my sofa, I close my eyes and breathe in and out and I sit in complete silence. In the stillness I have a reverence and an appreciation for my life.  I give thanks to The Creator for all people and experiences I have had and the ones I will create.  In the five to ten minutes of complete silence I allow my thoughts to do what they will, sometimes they tell me what I need to do, sometimes not. I allow my meditation time to develop as it will.

     My daily meditation practice reminds me that I have a lot more to learn about myself and life.  I have learned that I need to be still to get clear so I can choose well. After meditating my spiritual bank account is full and I am ready to create the day I want. Be Still: Yes, I must do that.  

Click here for to listen to a sample meditation from my upcoming CD, Be Still: Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day.

Share your thoughts or meditation practice below in the comments.

What are you reading, listening to or experiencing that is helping you grow?

Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day

Be Still: Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day

It’s been a busy time since I got back from Barbados. I’ve been updating my website and getting the final cover design approved and it’s now at the press.  You can listen to a few samples on my website or if you want have a few images you can listen and see images on You tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLGpFYWo7Is. My meditation cd is available at www.dontstress.net and also at www.learnoutloud.com (search on Be Still Meditation).  Thank you Leticia Owens of R’Tish Creations for the beautiful cover and Charlie Mystro of Y.U.C.A. Music group for the great hi-def audio recording.

I’ve been listening to a few audio programs in my LWD (Learn while driving) program.  I am almost done with Michael Beckwith’s Life Visioning – a phenomenal program for anyone who is interested in moving being mediocrity and living a life of excellence.  You can find out more about him at www.agapelive.com.
Michael says that “meditation is paying undistractable attention to the present moment. ” I wholeheartedly agree.

I also completed the audio program, The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved by Matthew Kelly.  It was a wonderful program and the narration was absolutely flawlessly executed. 
Matthew says that our main purpose is to be the best version of ourselves.  Amen.

I remember reading somewhere that anything in nature that doesn’t grow dies. I believe that as humans we are here to grow and evolve. If you aren’t growing you are dying. Are you living on the surface of life or are you living with depth and feeling, tasting, and touching all the textures that come with the journey.

My question to you is… What are you reading, listening to or experiencing that is helping you grow?
Tell me in the comments and share this with your friends.

Barbara in Barbados – Days 2 & 3

Isn't this beautiful!

 

Day 2 – We all went to the gym and worked out.  It felt great to be back working out again.  My ankle strain has left me with very limited workouts, except SALSA.   We went to Brown’s beach for the afternoon and watched the sunset.  There were many families on the beach and Warren, Regenna and I enjoyed the weather and chilling in the water floats and the overall beach scene. The picture on the header is from Brown’s Beach in Barbados. 

Day 3- This was the most unexpected day.  We got up to go to a 6am hike at Hackertons Cliff. Regenna and Warren London and I got up and took our snacks ( trail mix, grapes, apples, water, and a few Little Debbie Oatmeal pies for Warren).  It all started out so well, we got there right on time as they were explaining the different hikes.  We opted for the Stop and Stare.  We figured it would be a nice easy hike, we could STOP and Stare and take some pictures along the way.  It was listed as a 3 hour hike.  It started out very nicely, we walked through some wooded areas that were very beautiful. Then we walked past some houses and moved to where the fun really started.  We entered a very wooded area that didn’t seem that different from the other area we just left.  About an hour into the Barbados forest we all started to wonder what was happening.  This was no ordinary hike.  We were climbing up what seemed to be mini cliffs.  Not what we had in mind.  Well, there were several times we all were stopped and joked that the guide must be lost.  We were right.  We were lost in the Barbados forest for about 3 hours.
                Working out in a gym doesn’t quite prepare you for climbing up rocks, grabbing vines and maneuvering around trees with ants and slugs. I felt about as close to Survivor or Lost as I would ever be.  The other 39 people on the hike were just as befuddled as I was about why we were lost.  Were there markers we should have seen?  Of course there were.  I don’t hike. I mean I walk trails sometimes but really hike, no.  I really didn’t know what to expect or know what to look for. I thought that was why we had a guide.
                About 3 hours after realizing that we were indeed lost we made it to what looked like the top of a pit.  Regenna’s husband Warren was a life saver for the hike.  He made sure that we had assistance and helped us in the steep areas.  I was pulling on a stick several times  that he held out to me to be sure I made it up some of the steep paths. Did I mention I don’t hike? Well, we made it to the pit and one of the guys helping the guide tried to convince me it was easy to get out and to the top. At that point I would have done just about anything to get out of that hole.  It was beautiful in the forest, woods, it wasn’t quite a jungle but it was as close to a jungle I would see. But I definitely wanted out.  He helped us all out with a smile and in the typical Bajan accent, “Wasn’t that easy.”  Hell no.  It wasn’t easy…it was a trip.
                When I came up out of the hole we walked over to an area to rest atop of a beautiful cliff.  It was breathtaking. But that was not even close to the end of the hike. We still had another hour to go.
My body was aching; we were now back in the 80+ degree weather of Barbados and still clueless about how to get to the car.  We all bombarded a local store owner for water, Powerade and Banks Beer (a local favorite) to help us on the next hour leg of our trip.
                At one point when we were nestled quietly in the forest waiting to find out which way we were going, I was standing very still and quiet with my eyes closed.  Regenna asked me if I was okay.  I told her I was praying.  She asked if I was worried.  I told her no, I was simply praying my prayers of affirmation.  I thanked God for the safety of all the hikers. I thanked God for the wisdom of the guide. I thanked God for keeping the hikers calm. I had a few more prayers for God. I am continuing to pray at all times, prayers of gratitude help me remember that am at all times a blessed child of God.                Regenna and I discussed what could be the lesson in being Lost in Barbados. I don’t know for sure but I am sure that being in the moment and knowing that I would be divinely protected had to be somewhere among the things I learned and experienced on my three hour hike that was six hours while I was visiting Barbados.
                After our hike we were all EXHAUSTED.  We came home, showered and slept the afternoon away. We woke up and Geno cooked flying fish, rice and peas, mashed potatoes and salad.  Yummy.  Flying fish is native to the island and it was DELICIOUS! We just lazied (real word?) around the house all afternoon.  My feet and body are so sore.  See some of the pictures.

We made it back to the top!