Monthly Archives: November 2011

Giving Thanks in Georgia…

The morning after Thanksgiving and I still can hardly move. A small beached Orca… Will’s mom Sharon spent all day in the kitchen cooking up an AMAZING southern feast and what a feast it was! We’re all going to make sure she doesn’t lift a finger today – but – good luck with that. I believe seafood gumbo is on the menu today. I just want to pop her tiny little self in my carry on and take her home with me. Murray, Chuck and Sweet Pea might have something to say about that though. We’ll just have to bring them along in a checked bag…. LOL

This morning we were gifted with a partial solar eclipse as I found out from my lovely english friend Amy. All about ending one journey and starting another. Doors closing – doors opening. Hope, opportunity, potential, optimism…. Having spent the last four days in the company of some of the nicest, heart centered and real people I’ve had the pleasure to meet in quite some time – I am once again steeped in a huge teabag of gratitude. My faith in the basic goodness of human beings is restored. Will is one very lucky man to have such a wonderful and generous clan to call his own. We were sitting around a big bonfire last night and as I was watching the fire and listening to the conversations, the laughter and the stories I was feeling pretty lucky my own self.

Blessed Be indeed……


What a Way to Say “I’m happy to Help”…..

photo courtesy of

Will and I are taking off tomorrow AM for Georgia to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family.  Yesterday we realized we’d made no plans for transport to the airport.  Hmmmm….. who’s fault is that??  Anyway – ever the clever one – here is my brother Dan’s response to my plea for a ride: 

A Little bird

Did I heard

spread the word

that you need a ride

 I can be the one

To wake with the sun

That aids you on your way

To having some far off holiday fun

 You are

By far

Blessed to be

In the company of

The great and awesome me

 This for sure I knows

At 730 on the nose

To the port of air we goes!

 If you’re not ready then

You’ll miss your flight at 10

And I will leave your ass on the curb

Laying eggs and cursing like a hen

No…No…That would not be very Zen…

 Remember this

On the way to traveling bliss

The limo driver will not accept

Any fools hugs or kiss

Because his generosity is plenty

Please don’t ever forget

To tip your driver a twenty…

I’m still laughing out loud – really grateful and giving Thanks.    We’ll get him some smoked alligator….

“Did You Learn Anything?” continued…..

 It was weird at first to pay for most everything in cash – we just don’t carry much of it at home – if at all.  Just whip out that debit card – and don’t forget to write it down in the check register at some point. Getting 18 coins pound sterling in change for a 20GBP  note weighed heavy in my pocket.  After awhile I started thinking that it was pretty cool.  I could feel the weight of abundance right there in my wallet.  It felt more real than the plastic.  Back home now I get strange looks when I pay in cash.  Counting out $2.40 in quarters for a latte yesterday had the barrista thinking I was somehow on the dole or something with the look she gave me. It gave me an appreciation for the small things – like pennies – they count too….

In the US when you meet someone it seems the first question asked is “what do you do?”.  Frankly – in all of my travels I never got asked that question – and thank god.  What would I tell them?  Unemployed ’cause I decided to chunk it all as a PMP and take a year sabbatical???  What I found is that folks were more interested in who I was, what were my values (cleverly rooted for by baiting me with slamming comments on current America affairs or politics), what was my favorite music, place, color, food, etc…. In short – they were more interested in who I was rather than what I did.  I found that refreshing and am determined to practice that lesson here.  I never knew that slant of the perpective and what it offers in really learning about someone until I was away from it and just how ingrained my inculturation was that it never occurred to me prior.  I think it’s a much better way to engage with a new person. What we do for a living comes and goes – just look at me.  But who we are is rather constant over time. We hope…

I’ve never been a clothes horse but I always wanted to look my best and have the attendant plethora of hair and skin products crowding my bathroom as well as the “3 size” closet of clothes to prove it.  Oh, and let’s not forget at least 50 pairs of shoes – mostly black – mostly high heeled – lining the special shelf in my closet.  Nothing strips a woman down to knowing her essence faster than traveling for months on end with no blow dryer, 4 changes of clothes and one pair of shoes – flat soled at that. Hard to create an image to hide behind when your mascara drys up and you realize the only decent outfit you have is trashed and you have to show up to said function anyway.  I realized that the high heels, the makeup and the perfect hair were a veneer all carefully worn and applied to disguise my latent insecurities and admittedly – on occasion -self loathing.  Somehow I learned that if I just managed to look good no one would notice – including myself.  Well – that got unlearned in a hurry however uncomfortably.  To my surprise – people I met on my journey didn’t care one whit.  Who knew?  What a delight to be appreciated simply for who I was – bare faced, short and mouthy – with bad hair.  The bigger revelation was I got really comfortable with  ‘just Me’ in the process.  Not getting rid of my high heels though…

I’ve said this before in prior posts but truly – there are angels everywhere.  I can’t tell you how many people stepped in and saved me from myself.  Raised by circumstance and parenting to be an extremely independent person – it  was always pulling teeth to get me to ask for help.  Growing up I was always told to “figure it out” or “look it up” so I did – what choice did I have?  Subsequently I got really good at figuring out everything in my life for myself – or so I thought.  While I am not suggesting that a person shouldn’t strive to access their own resourcefulness whenever possible – I know how wonderful I feel when someone comes to me for a solution and I am able to provide one. By absolute neccessity I learned to let people do that for me and I only hope they got the same warm fuzzy feeling.  Maybe not all of them – but some.  The power of two is an amazing force…

Even at 5’3” I can make myself really big when threatened or I percieve I’m in a shaky situation. A confident posture and direct eye kept numerous situations from becoming ugly.  The pants hid the jello knees….

How much I don’t really need in this life.  Sure there are a lot of things I want but – need?  Sure I salivated over many things in my travels – but at the end of the day I reminded myself that I would have to carry that additional weight on my back in my carry on for the rest of the trip.  That made me become very choosy especially after I discovered how expensive shipping anything home would be.  Over time I likened it to personal baggage. How much was I willing to take on in my heart or head that I would end up having to pack around or drag behind me?  I think this was the seminal lesson learned.   I plan to expand on that at some point.

A sense of humor is absolutely critical as is not taking myself or my plans to seriously. 

In the movie “Out of Africa” – Karyn comments on the fact the earth is round so you don’t see to far down your path or horizon” (I’m paraphrasing)  Had I known what I was going to encounter on occasion I may not have gone.  At the same time – if I thought the experience could only afford me XY & Z and not kept an open mind, open eyes  – the innumerable magic moments would have passed me by completely.  I learned to lose the expectations and simply Be where I was at any given time.  And that made all the difference….

To be continued….

Travel Post-mortem…..”Did you learn anything?”…..

Henry Golden’s favorite question to any of his 7 children after we either accomplished something or fell flat on our faces was – “Did you learn anything?”  Needless to say I personally heard it a lot and more often than not – it was after doing something incredibly stupid rather than anything exceptionally brilliant.  I am hearing it daily in my head these days following my travels as I piece together the myriad of  experiences into some integrated whole and root out the take away, the lesson, the gift, the whole ‘what does this mean?’ – if anything….

When I travel – my intent is to be open and learn about the country and culture I’m experiencing.  A by product – whether bidden or not – is that I also tend to learn a lot about myself.  Like traveling a kind of interior landscape. Some of the discoveries are delightful, some are validations that I’ve progressed beyond some personal limitiation and many others are reminders that I have miles and miles to go before transcending some awkward piece of my personality or perspective.  The following are a few of the random thoughts that come to mind as I sort out the answer to Henry’s question.  I just wish it wasn’t also in His Voice – in my ears – in stereo…. 

I am good for about 5 hours on a train at any one stretch.  After that the restless leg syndrome as well as the ADD and bored 5 year old in me kicks in and we both start the “are we there yet” whining.  Most of the time – the adult in me manages to keep it to myself and suffer in silence.  After 11 and a half hours on the night train from San Sebastion to Lisbon Will was ready to move me body and bag to another car.  It’s a testament to his inordinate amount of patience that we survived that trip intact!

I have a cast iron stomach.  I can eat almost anything.  I may not try it a second time but that sense of gastronomic adventure came in handy when I wasn’t quite sure what was in front of me and the manners my Grandmother drilled into me didn’t allow me to say “no thanks” as a guest.

I have a keen internal clock.  I have no idea where I got it from but I always knew what time it was without benefit of a watch or phone.  I carried neither on this trip and never missed a bus, train, plane or anything else that required me to be some place at some specific time.  This may also have been due to the fact that I am pathologically punctual.  I have tried many times in the past to be fashionably late to some function in an effort to appear cool or something equally as ridiculous and just manage to be …. on time.

I can make myself pretty comfortable just about anywhere with very little.  While the princess in me enjoys luxurious surroundings, 4000 thread count sheets, prompt service and generally everything to go MY way – it’s not a requirement to be happy in the moment.  I wasn’t raised in the lap of luxury and the silver spoon bypassed our house growing up.  Subsequently I believe that – while me and all my siblings have an appreciation for the best – we have an uncanny ability to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.  This was probably the one trait that served me best.  Besides, there just isn’t that much enthusiasm or toloerance for pitching an American Princess fit abroad these days. 

To be continued……. 

As a friend used to say – ‘have all the fun you’re willing to have’


Travel Gear Review…

I wanted to share a Gear Review for those who may be thinking of traveling long and light in the distant or not too distant future.  Just a note:  these are not paid or endorsed advertisements – just my personal experience and opinions.

I spent some months prior to the trip researching and trying out all manner of carry-on bags, shoulder bags, packing cubes, alternatives to minimize the liquids limit, shoes, outerwear, etc.  The shoes and shoulder bag search in particular was extensive but – overall – I am happy I spent as much time as I did finding the perfect solutions for my travel needs.  Know that I am a recovering Type A  Analyst Perfectionist so no stone was left unturned in this pursuit.  If you can use my reviews to assist and/or minimize your time spent in this endeavor – all the better! 

eBag’s Mother Lode TLS Convertible Carry-on –

eBag Mother Lode TLS new

eBag after 3 mos travel

I truly can’t say enough about this bag!  In the side by side comparison photos you see what it was like brand new and what it’s like today after being thrown in boat holds, trashed around buses, trains and stations, drug occasionally, rained on a lot, tossed in trunks of cars and generally treated like Cinderella way before Prince Charming showed up.  I could pack an amazing amount of stuff in it and the internal straps kept the load balanced rather than compressing to the bottom with gravity.  This helped immensely when I had to walk miles with about 25lbs on my back. I found it comfortable for extended periods and the shoulder straps distributed the weight evenly.  I did notice that my shoulders were sore if I had to carry all that weight for more than about 2 hours but I think I can attribute that to an aging kinda out of shape body. The chest strap helped as well.  The expandable zipout came in handy and – with the external compression straps – I could still reef it down tight enough to pass all the myriad airport’s carry-on dimension regs.  The design is top notch for organization and access.  I was in and out of many places and being able to pack this bag well (packing cubes employed) in about 10 minutes was a godsend.  The only wear I’ve noticed is a very tiny pull on the stitching of the left shoulder strap but not separating.  This I can probably attribute to slinging just one strap on my shoulder – again – fully loaded.  The three well placed external handles came in very handy for getting it easily in and out of overhead compartments, trunks, etc.  The rear compartment was handy for stuffing my empty shoulder bag in for those flights that allowed only one bag.  Will was so impressed – he bought one as well and is of the same opinion after his ‘sea trials’.  All this and – at $99 – the price was incredibly reasonable for the value.  In retrospect it allows me to feel better about the 13 euro/ea. French coffees in Paris… I doubt I will ever use my wheeled bag again.

Bagallini Big Sydney Shoulder Bag –

Big Sydney after 3 mos travel

The search for the perfect shoulder bag took me everywhere on the web and all over Seattle and Portland.   I had so many very sepecific  requirements.  Not the least of which was I did NOT want a daypack that screamed ‘tourist’ – a bit for safety and mostly about vanity.  My iPad2 had to fit easily into some accessible pocket as well as convenient places for other travel paraphernalia.  It had to lend itself to easy organization, have only one shoulder strap that could be lengthened to allow carrying cross-body, the design had to make pickpocketing near impossible, the zips and pulls had to be heavy duty, it had to be big enough to carry a sweater, scarf, water bottle and other incidentals for a day of meandering (but it had to be small enough not to feel like I was carrying a suitcase).  It had to be light but of durable fabric and be able to flatten to fit into my carry-on for flights that allowed only one bag.  Oh, and it absolutely had to be stylish – very important.  The Bagallini Big Sydney was perfect – no complaints and no drawbacks for me.  It held up well even after being stuffed in the rear compartment of the carry-on for extended periods.’intl’&product=’BSYS498′

Exofficio Urban Travel Jacket-

Exoffcio urban travel jacket

Very lightweight, stylish and pockets everywhere!  The deep inner ones were perfect for stuffing most of the contents of the shoulderbag when it I couldn’t carry it on a flight.  I liked that it came down mid thigh for warmth.  Virtually wrinkle free even after being packed tightly for long periods of time. Dust and dirt cleaned up easily by just wiping the area.  My only complaint is that it is not wind resistant at all.  It’s not water resistant either but unless I was in a complete downpour – it was sufficient.  Will bought their travel slacks and was impressed.

Naots Footwear – the Believe Sandal –

Naots Believe after 3 mos travel

Because I was committed to one carry-on bag

Naots Believe new

– I had to have one pair of shoes that could to it all.  They had to be comfortable walking all day on varied surfaces, work in different climate zones  and be sturdy enough to take a beating and last the entire 3 months and beyond.  Oh, and dress up and dress down as situations dictated.  The Naots Believe sandal was selected because it has ample toe room and could double as shoes or sandals depending on where I found myself.  The cork footbed molded to my foot well.  They got thoroughly soaked on numerous occasions and never swelled – even when I removed them to dry out.  I walked 6 to 8 hours for days on end and my only complaint was – due to my long stride and heavy heel strike – I had sore heels.  The elastic on the heel strap got a bit stretched over time and the leather stretched due to my feet swelling in the hotter climates.  I would not recommend these shoes for women with narrow feet or a high arch.  I have neither so they were perfect.  Overall – other than a bit of color fade – they held up really well considering all I put them through.  In my opinion they were worth the considerable expense.

eBag Packing Cubes –

Rick Steves and eBag Packing Cube comparison

In all my previous traveling I never used packing cubes.  I will always use them now.  They were so handy for organization and very quick unpacking and re-packing.  If customs had to see something – I didn’t have to unload everything in the bag to satisfy their curiosity.  I bought both Rick Steves and eBag cubes.  Having used both  – I prefer the eBag model.  They have handles which I found convenient if I wanted to use the cube for toting stuff to a shower or laundry.  They are of sturdier mesh and material and the zipper and pulls were of better quality. The medium sized cube’s capacity was on par with the Rick Steves model.  They are similarly prices so I feel the eBag packing cubes are a better value.

Misc. Gear –
Solid Shampoo and Conditioner – Nice idea in theory to cut down on the population in the liquids bag.  In practice they basically dissolved after only two uses even though their containers had drainage. 
Collapsible Water Bottle – It worked, weighed nothing and – when empty – took up very little space.  I probably wouldn’t buy another one simply because it was way too hard to clean and sanitize.
3 oz. Liquids Containers –  Tried the Go Toobs and was very disappointed.  The lids popped off and they leaked.  The plastic seemed to be porous depending on the liquid/gel inside so I found they also ‘bled’ contents occasionally.  The best containers  I found were old sample size hotel containers with screw down lids.

San Sebastian – a bit of Basque Country….

photo courtesy of inguide travel & bing images

You’ll not see signs in English and Spanish in San Sebastian. The population in this small seaside town on the NE corner of Spain has a hard time being lumped into the generalized conception of what is ‘spanish’. They are Basque, inordinately proud of that distinction and while they may exist inside the borders of the country – San Sebastian feels like a tiny country all its own. The street signs are in Basque and Spanish – which did Will and I little good since our spanish is ‘muy limitada’. Our basque? I looked up a language translator on the web and found a site listing what are considered useful Basque phrases. Hello, good bye, where’s the toilet, my name is…… and – get this – “my hovercraft is full of eels” which translated to “Nire aerolabangailua aingirez beteta dago. As you can see if you check out the link – being fluent in french, italian or spanish will help you not. So remember that key phrase if your hovercraft is indeed full of eels when you find yourself in the best kept secret in Northern Spain.

This lovely view greeted us when we exited the station after about 6 hours on the various trains from Paris. Interestingly enough – The platform canopy of Estacion del Norte was designed by the same Gustave Eiffel who also designed the Eiffel Tower.

The walk along the river to our pensione was beautiful and just kept getting better as we rounded the corner and took in the expanse of the bay. It got even more wonderful when we got to our room, shrugged off our backpacks and stepped out onto the balcony. Right on the water – our view was stunning. Over the next five days we got to hear the surf pounding the breakwater and witness the huge wave plumes when they hit, watch the sunrises in the morning, sunsets at night and a couple of incredible lightening shows in the wee hours. When the night sky was clear – the stars were absolutely amazing. It was hard to conceive that this was it – the last week of my journey. Warm, sunny and languid – it was the perfect spot with even more perfect company to wrap up these months of travel.

As I have done in previous posts – the following are some highlights, thoughts and observations in no particular order of significance. Just what comes to mind…

Before I launch in – here’s a general observation. I find it incredibly unfair – when recording those precious moments on a journey – that men have the advantage of being able to suck in their stomachs before the ominous ‘click’. We women can’t exactly suck in our thighs now can we?? Noooooo. I have become an expert in figuring out poses that either removed all evidence that I am NOT fashionably thin or created the illusion that I was just a little less of the total me. Either insisting on ‘shoulder and up only’ and when that wasn’t possible – an artfully drapped coat or scarf. Trees, statuary, railings, etc. have all been employed these last few months in an effort to disguise. As I write this all I can think in retrospect is “Good god – get over yourself!” As if I’m not going to know the truth when I take a wander down memory lane. I used to delight in waiting for my five brothers to breathe before snapping. Ok, maybe not fair but it felt like a tiny bit of retribution. My Beloved came up with the perfect solution after hearing that story – see above. All you guys reading this – take heed. Ladies – we all know their memories can be like goldfish some times – once around the bowl and poof… so wait for the breath and snap away.

Will and I found the concept of the evening promenade wonderful. After dinner – usually around 9 or 10 – it seemed the whole town turned out to walk the square or the tree lined central avenue. Lovers – old and young – were arm in arm. Elderly gents in basque berets puncuated their thoughts with with a carefully timed cane wave. Families shared gelato. We noticed – much like a traffic circle – there was a natural flow with the outside moving in one direction and the inside meandering in the opposite. What a great way to check out the babes over and over again without appearing too obvious. What a great way to mingle with your community rather than holing up in your house in front of the TV or computer as is the fashion where I come from.

Kids. I have never seen this many kids in one town – ever. I don’t think it’s because San Sebastian is small. I’ve been in plenty of little towns and cities these last few months. I have no idea if these folks are just into progeny generation – it is a catholic country – or an inevitable result of warm sultry nights most of the year. We enjoyed watching the antics and listening to all the ‘little kid’ giggling – not so much the restaurant fits….

Pintxos (pronounced ‘pinchos’) is a delightful basque tradition much like tapas. You belly up to a bar lined with little sandwiches and other morsels like marinated beans on a skewer with olives. The tavern keep would finally acknowledge your existance and hand you a plate. You made your selections and he/she would keep a running tally. Locals ate standing up at the bar which had handy waste bins bolted right onto the front. Another delicacy was the shaved boar shank – their version of prosciutto but oh so much better – in my opinion.

There was an unusually high number of people who were either walking with a single cuffed cane or – more frequently – two. The average age seemed to be in the 60s to 70s. Polio back in the day? Also a rather large amount of wheelchairs.

We decided to be big kids ourselves and head to the aquarium. It was a combination maritime museum showcasing the rich sea going history of the area and aquarium. The seahorses were a personal favorite of mine. Will enjoyed the sharks especially watching them glide over the tops of our heads while walking through the plexiglass tunnel that ran through this enormous tank. It housed all manner of animals and we spent a fair amount of time just sitting and watching. One poor little tyke about had a heart attack when a shark swam right past him at his own two foot eye level. We didn’t dine at the Cousteau cafe. Pity.

Having seen my fair share of castles and attendant history, lengends, etc. – I found it refreshing that San Sebastian houses the Queen’s Palace. No man bashing here just appreciating something out of the ordinary…

Edifaces honoring god were as plentiful here as elsewhere in Europe – sigh… Enterprising homeless or jobless greeted us at the entrances with cup or hand outstretched. By the third time I was just not in the mood however much I wanted to see the interior. I do regret not going back when I felt more open minded. In this worldwide economic situation the global community finds itself immersed in – it seemed – in retrospect – a harmless way to make a few euros for pintxos.

It seems a blog post of mine on this journey wouldn’t be complete without a hill of some kind to climb and San Sebastian did not fail to provide the opportunity. Kind of like Rio, Santaigo and other bastions of christianity ( I’m just sure) – You’d find atop the highest hill was – at least – a ridiculously tall statue of Christ or that statue plus a castle or fort. This town opted for both and – ever curious – Will set out. I followed. He was fresh – I’d been climbing hills for months. I would have been happy with just a picture but he was into the vista so – ever the grumbler – I followed. Urban switchbacks – seemingly hundreds of them – and I look up. Yippie Skip! Half the way there. Lo and behold – a cat! Hanging out in a cleft in the side of the cliff and saying – to me – “act like you’re just taking my picture and I’ll give you the gift of rest in return”. I’m snappin’ – let me tell you…

At the top – as always – it was worth the trip, the breath, the screaming quads. Who’d have thought this little sleepy idyllic spot on the planet was once such a hotbed of political intrigue, agenda and ploy. The views were unsurpassed. I hear a voice in my head saying… “of course they were! They were picked centuries earlier because of the ‘view’ – what are you…New? – Though not for quite the same agenda…” We hung out – I caught my breath (again) and headed downhill – yeah! It’s so unfair – Will was hardly breaking a sweat. Well, he is from the South…..enough said.

One of our favorite things to do after a hard morning’s sightseeing was to find a table at one of the numerous outdoor cafes lining the beach – order cocktails or sangria – and just people watch. It’s a European beach so – yes – topless women were plentiful. Will is too much the gentleman to oogle but he was polite enough to point out his sightings perhaps thinking I might enjoy them too. I was just jealous. I don’t belong to the buxom crowd in this lifetime and I know if I were to go topless there would be no need to employ props to hide any generous configurations in this regard. Sigh – again….. I have other attributes… And I digress. Surfers, duck dodges with boats tipping over in a strong wind while rounding a bouy marker, happy dogs chasing balls, kayakers and crewing practices were some of the other entertainment we enjoyed while kicking back in the sun. I managed one afternoon to leave my camera on the table. Ok, so it was AFTER cocktails. I was able to retrieve it after freaking out that it may have been stolen – of course it couldn’t have been My fault…. When going through the day’s pics later I noticed several I didn’t recognize as taking. The waitstaff had actually taken pictures of themselves. Too funny – I have a record of my camera’s rescuers.

If we were to pick out our most favorite of all the sights and experiences we enjoyed in San Sebastian it would have to be the Combs of the Winds. Most sites like Trip Advisor will give you the low down and plenty of visitor commentary which parallels our own. Suffice to say – the sound that came from the blow holes was the most primal either of us have ever heard. We spent what seemed hours just listening – transfixed. I was able to capture some of it on video but unfortunately it was competing with the high wind above ground. While the sculpture is worth the walk – it was the possibility of hearing that haunting sound again that drew us to do the walk a second time. We weren’t so fortunate since the tide and winds weren’t quite right but we at least have the first time anchored in our memories.

As always – there are so many more stories, experiences, pictures. Some funny, some poignant, some boring, some not so pleasant – and – all part of the journey. I am an incredibly happy woman sitting here by the sea. I am living the dream – finally. I don’t plan on waking up any time soon…..


 ……..11.11.11    There’s been an amazing amount of hype leading up to this day.  Some call it auspicious, some satanic, some a blessing, some an opportunity and on and on and on.  Me?  I admit to a certain level of anticipation since I’ve been attracted to 11s for the last eight years.  If I looked at the clock, the odometer, the mile marker on the highway, a street number – it always seemed to be 11. Or 11.11  Key events have had 11 somehow wrapped up in the equation.   It happens so frequently now that I just laugh, shake my head and say – of course it’s 11.

Frankly I have no idea what it means.  And that’s not for lack of trying.  I guess if I want to assign some level of importance to today of all days – I can – or not.  And I can assign that same importance to any other day of the year.  What I suppose – at this moment – is that the draw to 11 gives me an opportunity to snap back to the here and now.  Get out of the “habitrail” of everyday thought patterns – typically about the past and future – and simply ‘see’ what is directly in front of me.  A very dear friend of mine recently taught me the importance of setting intent on a daily basis and then checking in occasionally throughout the day to see if a) I’m still on track with that intention and b) does that intention still make sense in light of the events that have unfolded.  Rather than being judgemental or angsty over that conclusion – adopting a sense of curiosity and play regarding what’s been realized, sensed, uncovered….   If need be – then assign an updated intention and move forward with gratitude for the guidance received. 

This suggestion of mindfulness in the minute by minute – hour by hour experience of my day is what I’ve decided to practice today.  While the little kid in me wants some kind of flash of lightning or fireworks or instant miracle in some big splashy way – I am looking out my window at an amazing sunrise after being kissed very thoroughly by a man who absolutely loves and adores me (and let’s me know in a million ways every day).   Looking forward to an evening spent with my brother and his family following an afternoon of connecting with friends from all over the globe.  That’s pretty a damn splashy day all on its own.  An unbelievably cliche and a tired turn of phrase but – I am truly steeped in gratitude in this particular now moment for all the abundance I have in my life.  The more I see this abundance the more that seems to come to me effortlessly as a result…

11.11.11 adds up to 33 which in numerology is one of the key master numbers – some call it the Christ Consciousness number.  I’m not christian but I do have a respect for the message of Christ through his myth/legend.  Do unto others as you would unto yourself and love through love in action is the distilled take away for myself.  While in my mindfulness today  I am going to be looking for opportunities for love in action so I can be part of someone else’s sense and experience of abundance.  Being a pleasure seeker – I am already feeling the buzz of bliss in making another person’s day. 

This day make be significant beyond others – or not – I’ll only know that in retrospect.  What I do appreciate about the hype is that it provides yet another opportunity to stop and get in synch with my highest self and that attendant potential. To get aligned again with universal energy, set intention and let go….. 

I am reminded that at the end of the day – any day – we are infinite beings with infinite potential and capacity to love or not – our choice.

If you’ve had an insight or your own splashy experience today – I would love to hear about it.

Photo courtesy of