Oldest Tree In Gethsamane

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

If anyone finds this blog, let me explain. I started this years ago in an effort to help me heal. I was just writing it for myself when I shared it with my family and they suggested I share publicly. I am not tech savvy at all and believe me the cheesy layout here took me forever to figure out but I eventually said fuck it with trying to make it pretty. That's not what I'm here for. In any case, I also said fuck it to editing too becuase the stuff pours out of me so quickly I can barely keep up some days. When I would go back and read my posts in the early days, I always ended up deleting them. Always had this fear of letting people in my head through my writing. I can talk your ear off though and lay it all on the table but writing,  there's still that voice in my head from the day someone found my notebook and told me my stories were stupid. The shit we drag through life still boggles me but here I am sharing, and despite the fear I keep walking towards it.  So what yah see is what yah get. The grammar natz's will have a great time in here, enjoy yourself!  I opened it today again for a friend to read and may just say fuck it once again and just leave it floating around in cyber space. Who knows, but for now here it is. Raw and unedited. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Personal Story Of Sucide And How I Found Peace

I've decided to share my story in an effort to help anyone who is suffering with these thoughts  and sees suicide as the answer to your pain. I hope that my story will bring some light to you and help walk you out of that dark place in your mind.

In my early twenties, I attempted suicide out of desperation of trying to end the horrific things playing out in my mind. I had repressed memories surface of being sexually molested as a child. This wreaked havoc on me for a long time and I couldn't bare another day of living with the thoughts on top of the other family issues I was working through at the time. I just wanted it stop! After my failed attempt, I spent a few months in counseling, but decided to take a spiritual approach to my healing and went on to make peace with my past.

At least I thought I did, until my brother who I hadn't seen since my father's funeral a decade earlier, walk through my door looking exactly like my father did the day he passed away. My brother was dying of complications due to alcoholism. Because of toxic relationships with family members and my determination at wanting to spare my daughter the baggage of dysfunction that comes with my family, I've kept my distance from everyone.

For the past twenty some years I have had a great life. Being a mother has been my greatest joy. I have a loving and supportive husband, great friends, a beautiful home. I've been all over the world and lived out many of my dreams, so when everything came crashing down in that moment of seeing him, it hit me even harder than early on in my life. I had such a deep sense of shame during this time and tried desperately to hide it from everyone. It became a struggle everyday to put on the mask and move through life. My brother stayed with me while other family members went on vacation and during this time I did everything I could to keep it together. He would say and do things in front of my daughter that I had been working to protect her from all these years. We would talk for hours everyday about our past and what I realized is, I had stuffed it away and ran from it rather than deal with it.

The one piece of comfort I was given during this time was when my brother and I sat together on a swing on my porch. He looked at me and said - "you did it",  I said "did what?", He grew silent for a long time and then turned to me and said - "you broke the circle, you always said you would and you did. When I see your daughter I see a light in her and I can see how well adjusted she is. She isn't carrying our family baggage", That moment was a little spark of light that kept me going through the time he stayed with me. When he left to go stay with my brother again I knew it was going to be the last time I saw him. I couldn't fight my own demons in that moment and help him fight his too.

Months later, when my phone rang and I saw my niece on the caller id I knew what she was calling to tell me. Hearing it though made me fall even deeper when she said he was gone and shared the circumstances surrounding his passing. I stood there in the middle of my kitchen with all the horrific thoughts running through my mind, the guilt of having to shut the door again, hearing my sister in-law tell me how lousy I was and that I never really tried. All the thoughts were drowning me. I was in such a dark place that even the thought of what my absence would mean to my daughter wasn't enough to pull me out of the hell in my mind. The thoughts were so dark that there was no way I could have put on the brave face anymore. Then, In the midst of my minds verbal carnage a Rumi quote made its way through.

"Out beyond the ideas of wrong doing and righting there is a field. I'll meet you there" - Rumi

At this point I was begging God to make the negative thoughts stop and in between the brutal mind the quote just kept repeating itself until I finally turned my attention away from the suicidal thoughts to the quote. I've read it hundreds of times. Understood its meaning, but in an instant of actually applying it to the experience I was in; it felt like someone reached into my mind, grabbed it, and just like an etch a sketch that is filled with chaotic scribbles, shook it clear. In an instant I was yelling out "oh my god that's it, that's all it is!" I could see everything so clearly in that moment it literally took my breathe away. This is what I came to understand.

As I child things were very chaotic in my home environment. At times it was a very fearful place to be. There were lots of good times too, but the bad times left there imprint on all of us. Whenever I was in those fearful moments I used to beg God to "get me out of here", and when that didn't happen I started to devise my own plan. I thought about running away, but the consequences of being caught terrified me, so I would think of ways of taking my own life. This became a way for me to cope with what was unfolding during those times and a way for me to feel like I had some control. It was a survival skill I had created.

What I realized in this moment is, when we are out in nature and come across a field and walk through that field, we create a path. The more we walk it the deeper and more obvious the path becomes. Our minds work the same way; we ingrain behaviors into them from reacting in the same manner again and again. When ever my mind was triggered with a certain kind of stress (family) my mind would automatically take the obvious path.

When a person is in the midst of this suicidal mindset what is happening is our minds are like a boiling pot of water spilling over with ugly, horrid thoughts that surface repeatedly. What I discovered is, once I stopped engaging the thoughts and turned my focus away from them towards the quote, what I was doing is cutting off the fuel to the fire, essentially turning off the burner, or to use Rumi's approach, I was going into the field and observing the thoughts. What happens once you do this, just like the pot of boiling water that is no longer being fueled, it will still continue to bubble for a while (the thoughts still come),  but in time will slowly cool itself down until you are left with still, clear, water. Our minds will cool too and the thoughts will slowly subside.

Just as in nature, once you stop walking a path, it will naturally start to fill itself in. Our minds will do the same thing. We have this natural healing ability as well. What I realized is, for all those years, I was filling the path in with things, people, experiences, and never fully healed this part of myself. Once I was able to go into the field, beyond the thoughts and make sense of it all, it immediately started to lose its power over me. I needed this mind to help me cope with the fear as a child, but now it has outlived its purpose.

In attempting to explain this to my family; since the root of this stems from my childhood, I likened this experience for me to a child who is lying in bed and sees what they think is a monster and is fear stricken. In the midst of the fear, their instinct automatically has the thought of turning on the lights. That natural knowing exists is in all of us, but in these heated moments we lose our ability to sense this. The child fearing the monster, lies there trying to muster up the courage to go for the light, and then finally faces its fear; jumps like a bat out of hell, and turns on the light. In doing so they discover that what they thought was a monster was actually just a shadow. That's all it is! Once they see past the shadows, the fear subsides and it starts losing its power, and again, instinct kicks in and their mind says "leave the light on".

I am not a psychologist and I don't want to trivialize anyone's pain, but I want to offer this as a possible reason for your thoughts. My guess is, there are other people who are walking this suicidal path in their minds; like myself, because it is a conditioned coping response, so it's become the minds obvious path in certain stressful situations. If this resonates with you, you are not walking it because you are weak, crazy or pathetic or any of the other horrible thoughts we tell ourselves, you are walking there out of a habitual behavior pattern for survival that you may or may not have created early on in life as I did. The mind is very clever at leading us around to very dark places. Not just people who have suicide thoughts either; the mind leads all of us around towards our vices. Once you know this and stop reacting, stop fighting it, stop beating yourself up in your mind and just observe the thoughts; they will slowly fall away and the healing will begin.

My husband who likes to play devils advocate; after discussing this with him said "ok, so how do you help someone make it stop. How do you help them turn off the burner?" Truth is, I don't know!; Telling someone to stop reacting to their thoughts, to stop engaging them and observe them while their mind is boiling over in pain is like telling a blind person to try and see. What I can offer you is this; when I was in the heat of my moment, a seed that was planted in me decades ago that had been germinating for years, finally made its way through the muck into the light and helped me to see everything for what it was. My hope is that by me sharing my story; this will be your seed that makes its way through the muck, and in your dark moment, gives you the courage to jump out of your hell, and make your way to the light, so you too can see it for what it really is. Once you do this, all you have to do from this moment forward is "keep the light on".

If you are someone who is suffering with these thoughts, please reach out to people and tell them. Don't be ashamed to ask for help. Please know the feelings of shame and the negative thoughts are all lies. The truth is; YOU ARE THE LIGHT you are trying to reach out to, and turn on again!

if you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 If you are outside of the U.S. please visit, International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Profound Dream

I had just turned thirty when I had a profound dream that changed my perception of the world forever. I've spent the past two decades trying to fully grasp this experience. I've always been a person who has had vivid dreams and can easily recall them upon waking. I make it a point to review them as part of my morning routine, and jotting things down. However, this dream left me questioning everything about our existence and all of my beliefs.

The dream started as most dreams do. The mind simply working through things I've taken in during the day in abstract ways. As I moved through this dream it suddenly stopped and my mind went from vivid colored images to complete darkness. In an instant I panicked and was stricken with fear. I remember becoming aware of the dream state and feeling as if something went wrong. It felt like someone hit a switch and shut everything down. In this panicked state, I began yelling out for God again and again. Within seconds I saw a pinpoint of light off in the distance and suddenly I was pulled inside the light. 

I yelled out "I am afraid" repeatedly until I finally heard a voice which sounded amused by my reaction to this experience say, "it's alright, most people are afraid, everything is going to be all right". My fear quickly turned to a deep feeling of shame when he told me to "open your eyes to see". I did for a brief moment and saw light, then closed them and began to sob uncontrollably. I yelled out "I'm not worthy, I don't deserve this" and that's when he began to explain to me how this all works. 

He started by explaining that I was hearing a male voice because of my conditioning. He said "I am neither male nor female. I am formless" he also helped me understand that if I opened my eyes, I would start to see what ever my mind was conditioned to believe. He could manifest into all forms. 

My feeling of fear subsided into a deep sense of peace. I could feel his joy in me being there when he spoke. It was as if I could hear his smile. The light was pleasant on the eyes for the brief moment I opened them. It had a misty quality that enveloped you. 

He then started to explain how the universe works in regards to my emotions. My feeling of shame was a burden I was carrying that had already been worked out on an energy level, but I was still stuck in the feeling on a mind level. I began to understand that the moment my heart felt remorse for the things I believed to be wrong, the universe started working on my behalf based on my feelings not the words (mind). Many people say one thing and their hearts are saying another. It's the heart energy (feelings) that the universe responds to. The words are heard and understood, but they have to be inline with the heart energy other wise it's not a clear message.

As I moved through this understanding it was made clear our minds have been conditioned away from our truth. He used images to help me understand concepts my mind had a difficult time grasping. I saw a book pressed against my head as he tried to help me understand how everything is energy and is in constant motion. If I were without conditioning, I could actually know the content of the book simply by imbibing it's energy.

Then he used an image of an old projector to explain how we work. We have a light source within us just like the projector. The film would be our thoughts moving in front of the light to project our reality. Our eyes work like a camera capturing images. Our minds are the store house of all the information. With all of this, we are pulling our reality together and sustain everything we are experiencing.  He said "it's all happening inside out " Also, there is a reflective exchange we all experience with each other and everything around us. This part I still struggle to grasp, but over the years have learned that whatever I see in another is a reflection of myself. If I see negative things, I am seeing what I need to work on. It's not about them it's about me. We need this reflective aspect of each other to sustain it all!

Then the experience shifted. I didn't have the feeling of being in the light anymore, but it was still with me. I was inside something that resembled an iridescent bubble and in this bubble were smaller ones. Seeing sea foam that washes up with a wave has a similar feeling to this experience for me. I thought I was moving, but realized I was centered and the bubble was moving around me. As it spun, I moved through pockets of energy and would take in information. Much of the information had to do with our DNA. At one point I even thought I was in our DNA. I understood that everything in the entire universe is within us. There is no answer that can not be found from within. It's all encoded here. It's layers and layers and as it shifts and moves it becomes more layers (expanding). Every language, every memory, every star, every person, every experience, the entire universe, the entire system is stored within each of us. 

We are created in the image of the creator which means we are the reflection of the creator. This means everything that is the creator is also us. There are the family genetics that create the individuals, but within the layers is the entire set of blueprints for everything! 

I understood that It's all here, now; working to shift our perception inward and guiding us to tune in. We don't need scientific instruments to do this, we are the instrument. We have everything we need! We have to be vigilant in this awareness to strengthen it. Just like working a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it gets. It involves using senses we have been distracted away from in modern times. Dreams are one of the tools, as are intuitive senses and gut feelings. That knowing voice that always whispers to us, the one we constantly dismiss, or second guess is always working toward pulling us inward, guiding us and using us to do its work. (Help each other) These are all things we can cultivate and strengthen.  

Over the years I've had things cross my path that have helped me to gain more clarity on this experience. This dream felt more real to me than our waking reality. I have also tried hypnosis to see if I can be guided back to this moment without any success. I've finally decided to let the understanding of this experience unfold naturally. Before I woke from the dream that evening, the last thing he said to me was "I am always with you, you are never alone". Then I felt the sensation of someone touching my head and had a tingling feeling in this area for days. 

This dream deeply changed me and helped me to understand why we are all so drawn to the night sky. Why we ache to lie down under the stars. Why we feel this persistent longing that calls each of us to sit under its majesty in awe. We are going home and recognizing the truth of who we are. We are seeing our own reflection. Our energy that is moving and swirling is one and the same. We are a universe within a universe within a universe...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Gobsmacked By Arianna Huffigton

Godsmacked: (it's meant to be taken literally). What happens when you spend four years running from your dreams. Gobsmacked: What happens when you receive an email from someone who you deeply admire saying "we want to use your voice".

Let me back peddle (Schwinn with a flower banana seat) to a few weeks ago when scrolling through Instagram and seeing Arianna Huffington's post asking her followers to share their personal dream stories via email. I knew I had written about a profound dream story years ago on this blog and thought "girl, have I got a dream story for you!"

I went and grabbed the link and sent an email to her in a matter of minutes. I was truly surprised at how quickly I moved through this process because normally I fumble through technology. Looking back at my reaction once I hit send, I have no doubt grace intervened for a brief moment before my mind could kick into full blown fear at the thought of Arianna Huffington reading my podunk blog post. I honestly felt sick and thought "what the hell did you just do?" among other thoughts.

The next day I received an email from Ms.Huffinton saying "many thanks for sharing your personal dream story, we would love to use your voice on Huffpost about this" well, my inner second grader that used to tell my mom I was going to grow up to write books ran and got her portable Erika typewriter, slammed it on her desk and had her fingers on the keys screaming out "just tell me what to write" in a matter of seconds, while the adult me was having a "rainbow guy" moment in the middle of my living room, literally yelling out "what does this mean?"

When I sent the link, I never considered in a million years she would want to use it for anything other than to read peoples stories. (who doesn't love a good story?) So I was gobsmacked by all this! I've had my blog closed for years and let go of that dream out of fear. I just made it public again with in the past few weeks so a friend could read some old posts.

When I later discovered I sent her the wrong link, I went into panic mode, (little Deanne defiantly fainted!). After several emails to remedy the error I thought, "this women and her very patient assistant editor must think, this lady is crazy and I was going on their spam list, for sure!" One of the emails even asked if I had to "follow the rules or were they just suggestions" (seriouslywho does that?... Me) Reading them sent my mind spiraling into a pit fearing I would lose a piece of myself. (plus, I can't remember the writing ones) I'm not very good with rules because I love to move to the beat of my own drum. My high school principal used to call me "Norma Rae" if that helps paint the picture and I've walked that path ever since.

Well, lo and behold I still received an invitation to set up an account with the Huff. Can I just say, I was a nervous wreck, but my daughter and husband convinced me to set up the account where I spent the next day trying to write a professional bio. After three attempts at doing this I sent a note to my girlfriend who was reading them and said, "scratch the bullshit bios, it's me just trying to fit in" and I sent her the new one where I let go off all my fear and just let grace take over.

I channeled my inner second grader and said a prayer to my mom, dad and brother and started writing. I decided to present myself in this light, because all of what I write is rooted from this place. Lets face it, if we all started to channel our inner child and took the time to nurture and heal this part of ourselves the world would be a much better place. We would all be having a big play date rather than hurting each other.

Thank you Ms. Huffington for opening the door for me into the blog community at the Huffington Post and thank you Marcos for your warm patience. I am eternally grateful! In everything I do I always ask grace to use me for the greater good so I hope I am able do that with this platform.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Apple Tree

I have been going through a transition of sorts and have temporarily disconnected from the internet and facebook. I decided to do this to purge myself a bit and dedicate myself to things I had been neglecting.

I hopped on the other day to check on a few friends blogs and read a post from one of my favorite bloggers. He recently started a new blog called Notes from the Night Owl after taking a sabbatical from his other blog Nuclear Headache.

His posts are always thought provoking, well written and share a piece of himself unlike most men, which I love. I get a good laugh at times because the man can write about anything and racks his brain over things from trying to understand relativity to trying to identify a bird from it's call to scaring monkeys. Only Bryan can do this and do it well.

His new blog Notes from the Night Owl is more personal as he shares heart warming stories that had me hooked from his first post. While catching up I read a post that moved me so deeply I had to ask if I could share the post with all of you. So without further ado I would like to introduce Bryan White and his post The Apple Tree to all of my readers. I hope you will go and check out his blogs and become a fan and follower.

Big thanks to Bryan for being my first guest blogger and allowing me to share this post!

The Apple Tree

Recently, I heard that song again, "The Greatest Man I never Knew" by Reba McEntire. It always makes me think of my wife's troubled relationship with her father, who died about seven years ago. The family owned some farmland up in Pennsylvania, and he went up to work on it just about every weekend. His plan was for he and his wife to move up there after he retired. Well, less than a year into his retirement, when the details of the move were still being worked out, he was working in the field out there one day when his heart gave out on him. He was dead before the paramedics arrived.

Through-out my wife's childhood he was, as they euphemistically say, an "angry drunk." I'll leave it at that. By the time I met him, his drinking days were far behind him, but the damage to his family was already done and will most likely never be healed. Even sober, he was a stern man, extremely set in his opinions, cold and hard to know. He was a large man, a physical tower of a human being. Me, I already feel like I'm a foot shorter than I am, so I definitely found him to be a bit intimidating.

His philosophy of child raising was basically that he didn't have one. He figured that he worked and made the money, so it was his wife's responsibility to spent time with the kids. I never saw him demonstrate much in the way of love, encouragement, or affection to anyone in his family. I remember going to see them, and my wife would try to talk to him and he would sit there on the couch across from her, staring sullenly ahead. He was unable, I suppose, to turn and face his own guilt and regret.

He did lighten up a bit in his last few months. I think he had some premonition of his end, chest pains and warning signs that he hid from everyone. The last time I saw him was on Thanksgiving, the year before he died. He was almost friendly. He even laughed and joked around a bit. Maybe somewhere deep down he was taking stock of things, reconsidering his life.

Whatever feelings he was struggling with, I do know that he had a genuine affection for my daughter when she was very little. He made the time for her that he never made for his own children. He was patient and considerate, and on a crisp morning she would lead him out again to see the apples that had fallen from the tree half eaten by the deer in the field beside the house. She thought it was Bambi, himself, sneaking in and eating the apples. The thought of him standing there indulging her fascination makes me smile. There's years of forgiveness in an image like that.

But the forgiveness isn't mine to give, and none of this is about me, really. I can only try to sympathize and understand how my wife feels about all this. I know she took his death hard. I know the rough patch it caused in our marriage. I just hear that song, and I know that I should try to be a better man and a better husband. I feel a tenderness that I know doesn't get expressed nearly enough, that gets lost sometimes in daily familiarities and petty irritations. I have to make the time. I have to set things aside and let myself be led out to the tree to see the fallen apples. Sometimes we all need to lead someone or by led in turn out to that tree, and share those fascinations between us.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Words Do Hurt!

Once again bullying is being brought to our attention in mainstream media by a brave young girl name Alye Pollack who with courage and dignity shared her pain in this video.

What Alye may not realize now is in making this video she has taken back her power and exposed the cowards and bullies. She showed a great amount of strength and courage in telling the world her deepest pain and by doing so she is helping many other kids who are suffering the same torment. She has opened a door for many to walk through because of the strength she had in making this video and I am so inspired by her courage.

I have read many of the replies to her video and am stunned at the ignorance we live with in this world. Even after viewing this heart felt plea for help people continued to make nasty remarks and battled each other with words. They still didn’t get it? Hatred is learned behavior and words hurt when they are used against someone.

Words also have great power to lift people and heal as she is showing in this video. It is about taking responsibility for not only what we say, but we need to start digging deep and find the core of the negativity behind our feelings and words.

A deep feeling of sadness is what compels me to share this along with a feeling of indignation. There is a great difference in feelings of anger. Either they are stirred by negative emotions and hatred or they are stirred by a knowing that something is out of alignment in the world and something must to be done to bring us back into harmony.

Chose not only your words wisely but the feelings behind them and understand what compels and brings about change in this world. It is not anything that comes from a place of fear and negativity. It must come from a place of love even though you are indignant and long for equanimity; let the spark of wanting fairness and compassion come from a place of love.

Alye Pollack you are my hero!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Twist of fate

When I initially set out on this blogging journey my intentions were to write a blog about my love of travel and the journey I have taken with my daughter over the past seven years trekking around the globe.

As some of my regular readers know it took and unexpected turn during my first post which looking back on the post, I can say with absolute knowing it was pure divine intervention. I had been asking God for years to help me let go of the pain I had carried of my past since childhood. I needed this to help rid me of the weeds that had taken over my entire garden to the point I had become so overwhelmed by it all, I gave in to the hopelessness.

As a parent I can say Brianna changed my life, but there was still this nagging feeling that lingered in my mind that my greatest fear of passing on the baggage would lead her to what I was experiencing. So, I was in a constant state of doing inner work attempting to heal myself which at times seemed over whelming and looking back, a few therapy (many) sessions may have made it easier, but with anything in my life, I had to do it my way, which is usually the hard way.

A ray of light happened one day while shopping at a store when my daughter found a book called *Heaven on earth 100 must see destinations* that would spark something in me which I still can not fully explain. It is a photography book full of beautiful pictures of places around the world chosen as must see destinations. I bought the book and kept going through it page by page, over and over again and something in me kept saying do it, just do it, take a leap of faith and go somewhere in the book. As my mind was racing my soul was opening a new door. You can read all about it in a post called “How it began.”

Little did I know at the time that I would be blessed with a support system not only from the universe, but from my husband who although the thought of traveling out of the states makes him cringe, he loves me enough to let me spread my wings and follow my dreams! When I showed him the book and said I was thinking about going to Paris which is the place Brianna pointed out in the book he looked at me with a smile on his face and said “Go for it follow your dreams." Of course I asked if he would go with us and he said "it is not my thing, but I want you and Brianna to go and live your dream."

This would be the beginning of something beyond my wildest dreams and opened a doorway into my soul that once walked through my life has never been the same? As for my garden so over come with weeds that nothing of beauty could penetrate. Well there must have been some seeds of beauty in there beneath the weeds, planted long ago with the love from mom and dad, it wasn't all painful. Because things changed immediately. I was feeling the world in a whole new way and beneath the soil, roots started to take hold and life was coming up everywhere

Our first trip brought out so many emotions and I thought of my mom and dad and I felt their presence with us everywhere. I spoke to them often in my heart and thanked them for these moments. I did some serious weeding during that trip. Funny thing is I had no idea I was weeding because it was so effortless. It was almost as if it were weeding itself and I hadn’t even started the writing process yet. I just knew my soul had come to life in a way I never dreamed possible and I felt the authentic me coming to life

As for Brianna, the glow radiating from her could have lit the entire city. I was smiling with joy knowing that she was experiencing this great gift of opening a part of her soul too. I could see a spark in her eyes and a curiosity in wanting to explore more. She was embracing the adventurous side of herself and making new discoveries about herself as well and I could see it unfolding so clearly.

Every night when we came back to the hotel she would lay all the trinkets and post cards out on the bed and just lay there on her belly, with her chin resting in her hands, legs bent up as she looked over everything deciding which were going to be for her and which things she would give to her friends as gifts. It melted my heart watching this unfold every night. I also learned my little baby is the best travel partner because she would also lay all of our things out and reorganize everything.

In those moments, I knew you don’t have to travel the world to find your heart and soul because truth is my heart and soul is with my daughter and husband, but for each of us something crosses our path for a reason and turns on the light and for me this was the switch. It has forever changed me for the better and with each new journey I learn something new about my self, my daughter and most importantly the amazing world we live in

Be it beauty in nature and the gifts of mother earth. Or the beauty in man’s creations of architecture or art, but the beauty that moves my soul most is the people. I am so connected in these moments to everyone we meet. I can see myself and the divine in each person and feel their spirits and a piece of me is forever with them and they are forever with me. I embrace and thrive on the diversity and yet can see how we are so much alike. We all want a better life for our families. We are all longing for love, joy and happiness. And we all carry hope in our hearts that peace and equanimity will be the way of the future. People don’t want to fight and want war. It is the ego, power and governments that want these things.

The book *Heaven on earth* is such an appropriate title and I realized after years why it was that particular thing that triggered me, because I have discovered that the heaven we are all waiting for is right here in front of us knocking at the doors of our soul just like the book did years ago for me. When I opened the door and walked through with my daughter in hand, I knew we had the power within us to lift our perceptions and see with new eyes and feel with an open heart and by doing so climb to higher realms within us.

As we did this the hell I had created started to dissipate, just like my garden that seemed to be weeding itself simply by my change in perception. As for my garden it is now becoming the sacred place I had always longed for. And by changing my perception I can now see I have been blessed to find, within there is not only beauty to be found, but a few four leaf clovers with many blessing and luck of good things to come. You just have to look for them within to find it.

My wish for everyone reading this is, what ever it is that stirs your soul. what ever your passion? That the universe will support you and bless you to be able to follow your dreams and continue to nurture your soul, creating your own little piece of heaven on earth. Where ever you are it is within.

And so my intention of writing a travel blog will now begin. I have lots to share and have been looking forward to sharing this side of myself for awhile now, but God had other plans that helped me surrender and help a few people along the way. There is a divine reason for everything!