Inspiration

Keepin’ the dream alive

Posted by on Aug 9, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, Liveaboard, Sailing, Virtual Assistance, Wholehearted | 1 comment

A decade ago my hubby and I envisioned a different life. A life that represented freedom and as off the grid as we could imagine: we wanted to live on a boat and travel. I solved the income challenge almost immediately. I discovered the ideal mobile business and have successfully worked from different states and Canada, even from a sailboat for a short period, as a Virtual Assistant—and I love what I do! So why hasn’t the dream become a reality I ask myself? Life happened. Unexpected major events that we’ve handled surprisingly well and bounced back from—wiser but not deterred from our dream. And that’s okay. I get that we’ve only hit the snooze button. But some days I feel unmoored. Are we on the right course? Do we need to adjust the sails? Doubt for our North Star seeps in. We recently found a fixer upper sailboat that met 90% of our must-have-list on the hard (out of the water) in a marina near Tarpon Springs (a doable two hours away instead of in Oregon!) It had been the owner’s dad’s project boat but his dad had died before seeing it complete (sadly this is a common tale). Fixed up this boat would sell for five times the asking price. We enthusiastically set out the next day with our cash deposit in hand. I climbed a wobbly aluminum ladder (my faith in hubby’s hold on said ladder complete) to step on board into almost shin deep rain water in the cockpit! I waded to the companion way and braced myself as I slid the hatch cover back and pulled the slats out. I could hear water running inside like a faucet in a bathtub— she was full to the bottom of the galley cabinet doors. Oh, NO! I was able to clear the cockpit drain obstructions and get the water flowing out. From the algae and gunk build up it was apparent this had not happened recently. The boat was already a big project for our experience but we were game—but this—this changed everything! Fresh water rots and mildews wood faster and more effectively than saltwater—any water inside a boat is undesirable but long standing fresh water is a deal breaker. I snapped photos for the unsuspecting owner and for Jeff, my heart sinking. Once again—this was not our boat. And I was saddened from the high spirits of expecting to have found and made an offer on a boat—finally! But also for the boat herself.  I grieved for her, for the loving work undone, for her obvious neglect, that I couldn’t help her beyond alerting the owner and marina staff. Sad. That. How do you determine if the obstacles between you and your dream are the Universe’s way of steering you clear of a rocky shore or only mighty storms to be weathered to prove your passion and commitment to your dream?  We brainstormed to see if there was something else we’d rather do—a third option we’d overlooked. Or was it only our ideal boat was still waiting for us to ready for her? What do we need to let go of to make room for her? For me I think its attachment to an extremely comfortable and privileged life: I’m deeply attached to electricity, hot water, indoor plumbing, and air-conditioning! Detaching from these comforts seems a small price for the freedom and adventure inherent in the live-aboard lifestyle! It took a few days but we buoyed ourselves up and we’ve reached out to a sailboat seller again on the Gulf coast and he offered us...

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I love library books!

Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 in Books, Inspiration, Travel | 1 comment

I can't take them all on the plane! Ruthie's dream of becoming a successful screenwriter captivated me. This is Jennifer's tenth book and I've loved her writing since her debut with 'Good in...

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I’m in print!

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Books, Celebration, Connections, Inspiration, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Wholehearted, Writing | 2 comments

When you post something on any type of social media you never know who might read it or where it might end up. In April I shared this review on Hungry for Life and I was contacted in May by Jennifer an Assistant Senior Managing Editor at Artful Blogging asking if they might quote part of my post in their upcoming autumn issue. Heck yeah! I BIG shout out to Honoré for sending me a copy when she heard my bookstore didn't carry...

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one word…three perspectives

Posted by on Jul 9, 2012 in Creativity, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

If you've been following my writing prompts I've written from the perspective of a bird, a cloud, and a snake. Then I wrote about my neighborhood—a lesson in seeing. This next prompt encorporated all my pieces and seemed daunting at first. We were to choose one word from our neighborhood piece and write from 3 perspectives: bird, cloud, snake. The word I chose was 'dandelions' and the form of a poem surprised me but it literally wrote itself: Nature Returns The weeds are tightly condensedlike a New York City block.Overhead the Ravenwatches intently, wings stretchedbut still.She circles like a kitesans string.People with theirdogs and machinesare long goneshe notes.The once verdant lawn lies abandoned.Nature returns.The dandelions swaynext to a few of their more colorfulcousinswho flit and flirtwith the breeze.The Raven aloft hasno interestin flowers.Her gaze seeks other. The cloud passingbyrecalls the once lush lawnshe happily shared herbounty with.Where once was new-shoot-greennow only burnt brownand grass turned to straw.The dandelions swayand smile in her shadow.She floats onseeking a hope seeded plotto receive her precious gifts. The serpent cannot navigatethe weed junglestealthily.The withered grass and weed trunkscrackle and whisperunder long belly.Mice feet freeze while the tiniestheart accelerates—Mice feet DASH.Serpent strikes,weeds settle.Nature returns. The dandelions swayas she passes.Only the Raven notes her...

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resisting my neighborhood

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in Challenges, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

I was pleased with the bird, cloud, snake prompts even though at first glance I didn't see how I could write them. Writing them expanded me as much as my view. The next writing prompt was to walk our neighborhood (a quarter mile radius) and capture what we see. I resisted for weeks. Eventually I got over it by writing about my resistance: My quarter mile circle expands way beyond our neighborhood. I am glad. I do not wish to lace my sneakers and walk the aged asphalt roads littered with dark patched potholes like a carcinoma on freckled skin. I resist seeing the for sale signs on rickety posts with their hand lettered pleas swaying in the breeze. I ignore the encroaching weedy lawns with dandelions dancing carelessly in a once tended yard.  Either indifference spreads faster than weeds or the hardworking Joes and Janes have despaired of ever having the time to dream of freshly mown grass, children running through a lawn sprinkler, or backyard barbeques.   Mostly the windows yawn empty in tired walls under tin roofs browning with rust. Lost hope is a wildfire whose flames cannot be contained but must be doused before they ignite the very heart of our community. My neighborhood houses a melting pot of souls from college students to retirees on a limited income. We each eke out a home next to each other and offer a good morning when we wheel our cumbersome lookalike trash containers to the curb. We nod or wave at the postal center under its little A-frame roof—rows of four inch square metal doors concealing the next piece of paper that may be a family’s salvation or surrender. I do not want to see my neighbor’s worn faces in the early evening dusk or the smiles that do not reach their dull eyes as they suck deeply on a cigarette and sip from a brown beer bottle gripped in tired fingers aged well before their time. The city has encroached on our once hidden community and location is key for those who call my neighborhood home. They may need to bike to work or walk to the corner bus stop but most drive ailing cars which they back out of their driveway in a haze of gray exhaust gunning the barely idling engine and praying it will keep running on fumes one more day. My neighbors may bring you your meal on an oversized china plate and pass you a cloth napkin and inquire if you’d care for more wine. At home they use paper towels and share french-fries with their kids out a greasy white paper bag. My neighbors probably bag your groceries in colorful cloth bags and offer to push your cart to your car even though you are perfectly capable of completing this task yourself. My neighbors sweat in a factory  breathing in chemical solvents so that their neighbors have clean uniforms with a pristine name tag on the breast pocket ready to wear when they change your oil or jack your car up to remove a flat tire. Yet, look. There’s the cashier from Walmart  sudsing a late model car with soapy water in a blue plastic bucket, her older daughter, barely school age, sprays water from a bright green Kmart hose, her younger sister runs through the arc in a tiny pink bikini. Mini droplets of miracles rain down along with the peals of their laughter. And there—I spy a newly planted flower bed, filled with lilies and mums wearing hope in multi colored petals. Listen. I hear a lawnmower roar...

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i am a snake below

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Creativity, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

It's all about perspective: I am a snake below the bird and cloud… The sharp ‘krak’ from that bird’s brazen beak startles me from my doze. I am sunning the entire spectacular length of my faceted body on a grey shale boulder. Glorious heat from the yellow eye bakes my ropey form into a writhing bundle of bliss. I am whole here, satiated. The sun completes me. I inch the coils of my body in an incremental slide; dry glowing scales embracing themselves entwined in constant touch and motion. Narcissssssist? Oh yessssss. I stare at my serpentine self and swell with pride mesmerized by my own magnificence.  The orange and red patterns appear like puzzle pieces on my skin as if outlined with kohl from long ago Egyptian eyes. The smaller patterns are leopard spots on my belly and attest not only my sleek beauty but my speed and agility. The Raven has finished her scathing diatribe of the lowly crows and shuts her beak. Finally. As she escapes the earth her body is a mere blemish in the expansive dome above. My coils whisper to stillness once more. Instinctively I taste the air—for food or foes. That black blight’s pontification would have warned off either category. I taste again to be sure. Darting, seeking, my midnight tongue speaks a language of smell. Does the Raven ever wonder what green smells like or how blue tastes? Not likely. I am content to return to my doze. The avian atrocity is up near the clouds now. At my thought of the clouds a skimpy shadow passes briefly over my domain. The cloud lacks enough substance to cool my sun salutations; the shadow is there and gone like the flit of a nightmare. On another day I will be grateful for her gift of a cool saturated world and drink it in. On another day. Today I lift my striking head to the golden orb the all-seeing one. I bow it in gratitude—not humbly. I am whole here, satiated. The sun completes...

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