happiness

My hummingbird charm 

The other day I wrote about the little chapel I discovered while out walking around Old Town Albuquerque.  For some reason I was really drawn to that space. I had been feeling kind of upset and just being there had really calmed me and brought me back to feeling peaceful and grounded.

Yesterday I was wandering about looking for little souvenirs to take back for the kids and I came across a small hummingbird charm. Hummingbirds and I seem to be very drawn to each other. I am fascinated by their small size and yet their ability to travel long distances, the way they fight with each other (way more aggressively than I would have thought), and their simple beauty. The charm was only $2.50 and for some reason I was compelled to purchase it. It came with a little quotation about the spiritual meaning of a hummingbird:

When you see a hummingbird it is very lucky indeed,

because it is known as a healer if you’re ever in need

Despite its small size it flies great distances and even flies backwards too.

A reminder to have faith and enjoy all that you do.

It seemed to be a perfect reminder of where I was at in my life right now. Learning to have faith and enjoy what I’m doing is kind of my theme at the present moment.  I bought him, the lady put him in a tiny ziploc bag and I brought him back to the hotel. For some reason last night I moved him over to my purse, even though I intended to pack him in the suitcase. As I looked at my little bird in the bag, I thought about how he looked like he was suffocating the way he was locked inside that plastic. I felt upset about this, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it. I didn’t want to take him out and lose him, I had planned to put him with my special rocks at home.

However, when I was standing inside the chapel today looking at the small gifts and letters that other people had left there, I was compelled to take my little bird out and place him with the other offerings. I sat for a while holding him, seeing how I felt about leaving him there. All of my feelings seemed to guide me to the realization that this was where he was supposed to be. For whatever reason my little hummingbird did not need to go home with me, he needed to stay right there in that chapel.

So, I found a nice little spot for him in a pinecone, said a prayer of gratitude and I left.

My moment of happiness today.

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happiness

The bicycle with red flowers. 

Something about this bicycle caught my eye today as I was out walking around Old Town Albuquerque. I had to stop and stare at it for a little while. 

What kind of person do you think rides around town on this bike with red flowers  in the basket? I’m guessing they’re the kind of person I want to sit down and share a cup of tea with. 

I imagine a happy, whimsical person pedalling down the road on this bike. Maybe even gliding down hills with their head back in laughter and their feet stuck out to the sides. It’s the kind of bicycle that would have a name. 

My happiness moment was spent today imagining the person who belongs to this wonderful bicycle. 
 

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happiness

Our Lady Guadalupe

I was feeling a little down this afternoon when I headed out for my walk. I’m overtired which always makes my emotions feel that much more intense (and makes me that much more unable to deal with them).

One thing I have learned over this past year is that it is always possible to find happiness in each and every moment. The kicker is to remember to allow it and to look for it. I’ve had some pretty crappy things happen in 2015 and still, every day I sat down and thought about at least one moment that made me happy and left me feeling grateful in that day.

With that in mind but still carrying a little woe is me, I went for my walk around Old Town Albuquerque. It seems every time I explore there’s another little side walkway that I have not noticed before. This time I turned at a sign for a museum and instead ended up at the doorway of a small church. 

It was like God guided me here to remind me that He’s always there holding my hand. I needed that little reminder of love and support. I felt my heart lift and lighten as I walked in the doorway.  

Inside was this beautiful mural. I stood and looked at it for quite a while (I may have also cried in front of it for a bit, whatever. I thought I was done public crying at the end of 2015 but apparently that’s not the case). It made me feel so loved and warm and cared for just standing in this small but holy space.

  

Off to the side there was a small chapel and I walked to the front and stood at the cross and prayed for a little while. Mostly I just gave thanks for all of the blessings I have in my life. I have two beautiful children who make my world complete, I have a wonderfully strong and supportive family, I have friends who hold me up and laugh with me, I have that dog and those cats who fill my heart. I am a blessedly lucky person with all of the things that bring me joy and happiness.

Sometimes I just need that quiet space to remember how happy I am. I am so thankful I was guided into this little church. It was my happiness moment today.

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A welcoming smile 

 Friendliness goes a long way towards making a stranger feel welcome.  I have been impressed over and over again at how warm and inviting the people are as I’m encountering them during my walks around Old Town.  

My happiness moment is the warm in the heart feeling I was left with after my walk filled with friendly smiles. Some of that warmth also comes from the copious amount of chiles I’ve been eating. 

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happiness

Sweet and salty (and a little spicy)

Like the rest of my life, today was sweet and salty with a little bit of spice. 

I walked around Old Town Albuquerque a bit more today. Even though it was a long weekend more of the shops were open so I did a bit of window shopping. The jewelry that is made in the area is so beautiful. I’m thankful I don’t wear a lot of jewelry so I’m not as tempted as perhaps I would be. Although I did fall in love with a Navajo rug that was the tree of life with birds on it. Then I looked at the price tag and moved on. 

I had a little sweet craving today and headed into one of the candy shops. They were selling green chile peanut brittle made from local chile peppers. After having a sample and feeling a wonderful tingle in my throat I headed back with a little bag to enjoy with my cup of tea. 

Because sometimes it’s small simple things that bring a happiness moment 

  

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The Church Street Cafe. 

Without a lot of morning and groanong about the details, suffice it to say that the last 24 hours have not been some of the better ones. Travelling can be a challenge and this trip threw a lot of surprises our way. 

We were feeling exhausted and frustrated this afternoon when we headed to Old Town in search of some lunch, some sunshine, and some sights. A place named the Church Cafe had been recommended to us, so that was where we decided to stop. 

Not only was the food fantastic but the waiter was so kind and funny that I left feeling so much more positive and happy about things. I don’t know that he realizes what a ray of sunshine he was on a gloomy day. We all need those bright rays shining on us and I’m so grateful that we happened upon his place. 

It is a great happiness moment to realize how a small act of kindness can make a big difference to someone. And a happy belly is that much more of a bonus!

On our way back to the hotel we saw this. Mom calls it Scary Mary in a tree.   

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When a door closes, another one opens. 

This morning  I went out for my last sunflower walk here at the Tamaya Resort. I very intentionally went “backwards” so that I could walk halfway, stand at the Rio Grande and say thank you to Dad, to the river, to God; and then walk the last part of the path guided by Dad’s sunflowers.

To my initial disappointment, when I arrived at the river there was a lady already standing there. She looked like she was happily enjoying the view, but she was at my place where I had important emotional things I wanted to do. 

Then that lady and I made eye contact and I realized it was Susan, a woman I had shared lunch with a couple of days ago. Every once in a while you meet someone you just click with and I felt that click over lunch. We have a lot in common, but also are very different. Whatever the case, we had that click of a friendship. 

We stood at my spot at the river and hugged and chatted a bit. She was heading in the direction I had just come from and I asked if I could join her and walk together back to the hotel. 

It amazes me when I just  meet someone and already feel so comfortable with them. We talked about our lives and our journeys. When we were at the house of hummingbirds, she said she was taking this course in part in search of her tribe. Right away my ears perked up. I have been actively seeking out my tribe too. I think we may be tribe members. 

As I was packing up I was thinking about having run into her. She said it was interesting how we kept crossing paths (it’s a big place and I’m not a part of this course) and how it must mean something. I thought of how my intention had been to go have a really emotional moment of gratitude at the river for the healing it has offered me. How instead of that intended moment, I walked forward into a new friendship. 

My moment of happiness and of deep gratitude.  I feel every day like I’m making steps ahead on this journey, but big spiritual stuff happened for me these past few days. Fitting that I again was guided on how to move forward instead of standing still with the past. 

Good bye New Mexico, you hold a blessed place in my heart. 

  

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Tears from heaven 

I’m finding as I move further into my understanding of who I am (with the help of my Ayurvedic studies, my meditation, my yoga, my increasingly closer relationship with The Source) that I am loving my sacred quiet morning times more and more. They are what gets me on my path for the day ahead and the more relaxed and at peace I can be when I start off, the better my entire day is.

This is how we started the morning on our terrace at the Tamaya Resort, so quiet and peaceful and warm

After helping Mom get ready for her course I headed back out along my Sunflower Path to clear my head and stretch my legs. As I began walking I was impressed with how quiet my head was. I was congratulating myself on how unstressed and uncluttered I was as I strolled along. Of course, no sooner did those thoughts come than my emotions were all like oh yeah? You think you’re all zen? Here, let me show you what’s really going on inside. And suddenly I was filled with rage.

By the time I realized how completely angry I was, I was at the halfway mark which looks out over the river towards the mountains and towards one of Dad’s sunflowers. So, I stood there and mind raged at the Dad-sunflower. 

Now, it was cloudy when I left for my walk, but I’d been out for about a half hour and although it was a bit chillier than I had thought, it was just overcast.

As I reached the peak of my mind-yelling at sunflower-Dad I started crying. Thank goodness I’m getting more comfortable with this whole bawling my eyes out in public thing (it helped that the path was quiet and I had this space to myself) because my eyes really let ‘er rip with those wet tears.

I was standing there bawling with a huge rock on my chest and a big lump in my throat as my mind-yelling turned into deep sorrow and I realized I was more really sad than really angry. At this exact moment it started to rain. Tears from heaven I stood there crying in the rain for a few minutes just allowing all the emotion to flow out of me and into the rain, into the river, and towards sunflower-Dad.

Then I was done and so was the rain. I felt the weight leave my heart and clear my throat. As these grief and sorrow feelings flowed away, the rain stopped. I waved to sunflower-Dad and walked back to the path to finish my walk. The second half of my walk was lined with the rest of the sunflowers and I had the strong feeling it was Dad reminding me that I wasn’t alone.

When I came back to the room I turned on the TV to listen to while I organized things. The channel was on The Doctors and they had some guy on talking with Vicki from RHOBH. She lost her mother a few months ago and she was getting messages from her through this medium. Then he went on say that so often people who have passed on are trying to contact us, but that we have to remain aware of the signs.

I smiled and thought how much I appreciated that Dad made his signs pretty easy for me to see. But, he loved us like that – he would try and make it as easy as possible for us.

I turned off the TV, rolled out my yoga mat and spent some time in quiet body stretching reflection.

My happiness moment: my tears joining with Dad’s tears from heaven. Because happiness isn’t always rolling on the floor belly laughing. Sometimes it comes from a deeper place in the soul.

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May it be

I have always been a big fan of having a personal theme song. I’ve had a few throughout the years – Don’t Stop Believin’, Rebel Yell, Say Hey (I love you), The Sound of Sunshine, Alberta Bound (this got me through the last year. The kids and I chanted it over and over and over… and look where we live) being a few of them.

Only a very few times has a song just completely captured my soul and it has sung out this is my song!! Stop and listen to it!! The first time I heard The Gayatri Mantra by Deva Primal my inner being swooned with love. I didn’t know who she was or what the words meant, but I knew that I had to listen to that over and over and over again. 9 years later it’s still something I listen to on almost a daily basis.

Today a song came up on my playlist that I’ve listened to many, many times over the past couple of years and my soul has always yelled that one. That is an important song. Stop and listen to it. Stop and listen I would, but I never knew the name of the song or really understood what the lyrics were saying. Today I stopped and pulled up the lyrics and followed them while I listened to May It Be by Hayley Westenra. And I realized that this has been the theme song of my life for the past few years as I’ve been reaching for better things.

May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh! How far you are from home

I started listening to this song when I was so far from home in every sense. Physically we were so far from home and our loved ones. I was so far from the home of my centered being, struggling to find myself in my storm of the dark night of the soul.

Mornië utúlië ([Quenya:] Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornië alantië ([Quenya:] Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now

May it be the shadow’s call
Will fly away
May it be your journey on
To light the day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun

It was exactly what I did. I just kept believing (although it was while I was humming Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey) and I started to find my way.

When the night is overcome, you may rise to find the sun. I feel like that’s where I’m at now. Like I’ve just awoken to the gift of a beautiful sunrise of life.

A theme song that has been guiding my path out of that dark night of the soul and I wasn’t even aware. I guess that’s the great thing about reaching for better feelings, that I don’t have to control or worry about where they come from, just reaching for them is enough to make them come to me.

My happiness moment today was a re-walking of yesterday’s happiness moment, but with my Mom. We talked again about the sunflower picture that is in the bathroom of our hotel.

the photo is horrible, but the with the lighting in the bathroom there is only so much you can do. It’s a beautiful picture.  But, you get the added bonus of seeing me trying to hide in the corner of the photo 🙂 

Yesterday morning before my walk with the spirit of Dad, Mom had commented on how beautiful the sunflower picture was and how much Dad would have enjoyed seeing it and the inspiration he would have gained for his own photos. As we were out walking in the desert among the sunflowers Mom said it’s like Dad saying I told you I’d be in New Mexico with you. It was a beautiful and peaceful moment to share with her. I said that some people say that departed loved ones come back as butterflies and rainbows, but Dad comes back as sunflowers. Very fitting for who he was –  I knew immediately he was with us.

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