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#NaniboujouLadies2019 – Re-entry Into the Real World ….

Nanijoubou Deck 19

We were up.  Packed.  Ready-to-go … BUT NOT REALLY.

Photo by me

Naniboujou

A lodge upon Superior’s shore

Was but a dream and nothing more

But here upon this gentle hill

The dream comes true a dream that still

Seems more like fantasy than real

Through all the radiant hours I feel

The golden air, the sapphire sea

Bring home eternal truth to me.

For Here the turmoil of the street

And all the stress of hurrying feet

On foolish errands never done

Are known no more from sun to sun 

So-what the world, with its fever heat

When here I find in this lone retreat

My soul once more and all to me

Than life has been, or can ever be.

This poem was found in the Great Falls, Montana library by a Naniboujou guest.      Author Unknown

Each of us had our personal way of saying ‘Goodby’ to Naniboujou.  Mine was walking on the beach.  Standing still.  Letting the waves come to me.  I knew way back when we made our reservation in the winter, June 9th was the anniversary of my little sister, Anna‘s drowning.  50 years ago.  11am.

As I walked Lake Superior’s shore one more time, this stone was sparkling white and called to me.

20190613_081746_HDRI held it to my heart.

And in the sun and the waves, I said my ‘Thank-you’s’. 

To Life, To Fambly, To Friends, To Experiences, To Lessons Learned and Wisdom Gained … To God.

It was time to go.

I headed back to pack the car.  Wow, are we good at packing!  Leslie and I rode together, with AnnMarie floating between Becky’s car and Pam.  I had told my Besties, I wasn’t leaving until a reservation was made for next year … and we all agreed, we needed to look forward to replenishing both body and spirit in this place called Naniboujou.

Reservations are made!!  We WILL BE the #NaniboujouLadies2020.  Yay!!

On our long drive home, we stopped at the Rustic Inn Cafe in Castle Danger, MN.  Our last time sharing a meal together … for a while.

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Me, Leslie, Pam, AnnMarie and Becky.

The sign ‘just happened’ to be there!!

We made it back to Brainerd, dropping AnnMarie off and sharing one more group hug.  Everyone made it home.  Safe and sound.

It was hard.

Re-adjusting.  Sometimes one is ready to go home.  Sometimes … not.  I wasn’t.  Which made me realize, I need more play-time in life!

Wise words from Evans Bowen helped – and good for all of us who return from a travel adventure, trip, pilgrimage – somewhere – away from the 4 walls of home.

“Be gentle with yourself, try to build a little buffer to your return.  You will have laundry and mail and the life you are used to, but you have changed.  You may feel very alone on your return.  That’s okay.  You’re not finished yet.”

The call of the pilgrimage (travel adventure) is actually a call to the home of our authentic self.  

Home is the true destination.  To return home transformed … with a new consciousness.  You have returned your new best self back to the world …”

Yes, we have changed!  Our new best selves are delving into the days and weeks ahead.  This shared experience was priceless.  I have a grateful heart.

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I often say to my clients … and reminded myself:  We can travel the world seeking and find … the longest distance is … between our head and our heart.

I have a grateful heart, indeed.

Thank you so much for following me/us on this adventure!

Do you have a favorite place to get away from it all?  I DO need more play-time!!

Until next time …

Blessings and Love,

Namaste

Debbie

 

 

Naniboujou Lodge … Here We Come!

Road Trip Begin

#NaniboujouLadies2019

We’re Doing a Road Trip!

Pam, Becky … Leslie, Debbie & AnnMarie (Photo by Leslie)

It was in the middle of our freezing, snowy winter Minnesota winter – 2019, when AnnMarie sent me a text, “Let’s get together, I want to run an idea past you!”.  Her idea was a get-away weekend to the Naniboujou Lodge in northern Minnesota.  Early summer, please.  Because, well, why wait any longer than we have to for an adventure?  I was on board in a nano second.  There was that rope of hope … the carrot dangling … to make it through the rest of winter.

We gathered in a few of our besties, and made our reservations.  We talked to a real live person, who was very helpful, sharing the best of what they offered.  Award-winning food.  Spotless Rooms.  Solarium.  2nd Story Deck.  Tea Time.  Coffee available at 7am (yay!).

BIG perk: NO Wifi, NO TV.  We were getting away from the rest of the world. 

And then … of course … beautiful Lake Superior … lapping and crashing on the shore.

Peace and excitement washed through me with the confirmation of our reservations.  It made everything real.  Early June couldn’t come soon enough.

It finally came!

We met at 9am Friday morning and headed out,  it was 87 degrees!   Five and a half hours of straight-through drive time.  We would stop and check out fun stuff along the way … and take time to stretch.  We packed lunches and ate on Old Highway 61, at a roadside picnic table.  It was windy and freezing!!  The temp had dropped about 20 degrees.

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Beautiful and freezing.  Hair … blowing in the wind!

We are simply happy! (Photo by me)

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Me! (Photo by Becky)

The terrain changes considerably from central Minnesota to Lake Superior shores.  From woods and fields to rocks and hills.  It’s stunning.  The tree buds were beginning to burst open, whereas at home, our leaves are unfurled and getting bigger and bigger by the day.

On the road Naniboujou

One of my Woodland Spirits rode with us! (Photo by Leslie)

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Black Beach in Silver Bay (Photo by Becky)

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Follow the shore-line up the left … Here they are! (Photo by Becky)

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We found a quiet cove, away from the wind.  The sand on the beach was so warm.

We took naps, letting Mother Earth fill us up … as we let go of all our stress.  It.Was.Amazing.  (Photo by me – I couldn’t resist)

The shift we felt as we headed on our last leg of the journey was significant.  We truly had left our cares and worries at Black Beach.  Another 90 minutes to go … Naniboujou Lodge was getting closer by the minute.

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                         We made it!

Unloaded.  5 Women = Lots of stuff. (For some of us, anyways!)  Photo by me.

Months of planning and anticipation had come to this …

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Dining Room – Photo by Becky.

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And this …

Sigh … My happy feet and happy heart.

More to come ….

Please ‘Like & Share’ if you like joining me/us on the journey!

 

Dreaming BIG … Trusting Spirit

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Trusting Spirit!

I’ve shared with friends … I don’t feel brave.  I’ve struggled with ‘What will people think of me?’  Fear is a mighty force in life.  I’ve found Faith and Trust overcome that mighty force – and when it all comes down to it, it’s between me and God, anyway – and I’m good with that.  When I dream … when I answer the nudges of Spirit/God and let go of fear – amazing things happen.  I bet they have for you, too.

3 of My Dreams and How They Came to BE …

Dream 1

After working for years providing massage therapy at a Chiropractor’s office, I began to have that feeling again – I call them ‘quiet knowings’ – my intuition, in my stomach.  The feeling was doing MORE with Energy Work – of all kinds.  Reiki, Essential Oils, T’ai Chi, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Massage, Readings, Counseling. I wanted to have classes, and gather people together with the realization they are not alone in their seeking.  My dream was bringing talented, gifted people together and provide our community with amazing alternative, complimentary options for health and wellness.

So, to have a dream come true – you have to let go of fear.  (Gulp – so many reasons why this wouldn’t work – single mom, single income, who would even want to be a part of this crazy idea, in a pretty conservative area). You have to do the work, with dreams … knock on doors, pen to paper, gather information and see if it really is a path Spirit/God is leading you on.  I did lots of work with the Small Business Development Center at Central Lakes College.  Julie Anderholm had told me, the work would let me know if the numbers added up to any kind of success as a business.

It did.

Yikes!  Fear … breathe … trust … BREATHE.

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Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

A bank supported me and now it was finding a location within the right business district.  For weeks, I drove up and down Kingwood Street, feeling like it just had to be on this street – somewhere.  (I finally quit driving up and down the street, thinking someone may report a stalking vehicle).

One day, client came in for a massage, and looking up at me, with a twinkle in her eye,  she asked me if I knew what house was for sale?! – No – was my answer.  She said there was a house next door to her – on Kingwood Street – and it was just listed that day!  I went to see it the minute our session was finished.

Me, not good at negotiating – that evening – offered a bit more than the listing price and without anyone else coming with me – went through the house.  I felt its energy and I loved it.

Naive?  No kidding!!  Learn from me, ok?!  It never hurts to have a second pair of eyes and a brain for thinking things through …

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The next day the Realtor called and said there was another party coming to look at the house – 3 Doctors – to make it a clinic.  Plan on a bidding war – he said.  I was confused, as I had thought my offer was accepted.  I told him I was out.  I didn’t want that kind of energy in the mix of my dream.  He called me back in a day or so and said the Doctors thought it would be too much work to make it happen.  Hmmm.  Interesting comparison. Me, single Mom, single income, being me.  3 Doctors – money – resources – too much work!  Well, you know this by now … I bought the Kingwood House – ghosts and all – but that’s another story for another time!  (A good one, too.)

On a side note – Dr. Starzinski was one of the doctors looking at the house.  Soon after, he joined us with his practice.  How wonderful it was!

A Dream Come True!  Front page news … Here’s a bit of it …

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Dream.  Work it.  Trust Spirit/God to open doors if it is to be …  Many lives were touched  when crossing the threshold of this amazing house.

Then the financial crash of 2008 happened.  I did all I could to keep the doors open.  No one had discretionary income.  Self-care was put at the bottom of the list – basic needs were at the top.  The stress and angst of letting go, impacting my colleagues and our clients, was devastating. The house was sold in a short-sale in 2011, with my Realtor, Liz Timothy. 

Something else was happening in the mix of all of this … I had a ‘quiet knowing’ … something else was up … Spirit/God was giving me a ‘heads-up’ …. I just didn’t know what ….

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Dream 2 ….

After the selling of the Kingwood house, I needed a place to live.  I was very clear in asking Spirit/God/Universe to provide me exactly what I wanted – and if they wanted to embellish it at all, for a greater good – I was ok with that, too!

My Dream … My Exact Wish ….

  1. A One bedroom apartment, just for me.  No up-keep.  If the faucets leaked, call the landlord, if anything leaked, call the landlord.  I was tired.
  2. I wanted it to face east-west, for morning sun and evening sunsets.
  3. I needed laundry close-by, because of all the massage sheets I washed.
  4. A garage.
  5.  And this much for rent $ _____!  Yikes!

I called an old classmate who did rentals and yes, he had a few open in the next month.  We set up a time to look … (I hadn’t shared my list yet).  Oh my, none of them worked for me.

… Breathe ….

We were out in the parking lot, ready to go, and he asked me what I really wanted … so … I told him!  Exactly!

He shook his head at me and grinned.  (Well, he ASKED!!)

He said I wasn’t going to believe it … (Try me) …

A one bedroom, east-west, laundry room out the door to the left, with a garage, was going to open at the end of the week.  Yes, for $____! (Who’s smiling now!!)

AND he let me paint it the colors I wanted, so my book club gals came over and we had a painting party!  (Bonus Blessing:  I found an office only a mile down the road.)

I gave a shout-out to friends and Fambly to help me move.  When the doorbell rang early moving day, there stood my brother, Patrick and wife, Darlene up from the cities to help … they said to look outside!  There, on both sides of the street were friends with trucks, cars, trailers, even an ambulance to haul stuff to my new office and apartment. (We did it all in one trip!!)  Some friends had met at apartment with food to feed the gang.  I was teary and grateful all.day.long.

That’s not the end of the story.

That ‘quiet knowing’ … something was up … when I had to sell the Kingwood House …

I got my answer. 

My folks lived across the yard from my apartment.  Mom helped me clean.  She made cottage curtains for the living room.  I’d go over for coffee and they would mention how late I was up the night before (my bedroom window faced theirs!)

And they both would be gone a year later.

I needed the ease and grace to be there for them as they journeyed their way to heaven – and Spirit/God gifted me with the perfect apartment, in the perfect location to do so.

A dream come true!

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Sleepovers and play-dates were fun memories in my apartment!

I’ll save my Dream #3 for the next post, this is getting long.  Are you still with me?

#3 Dream … It’s pretty awesome.

My encouragement to you:

Dream Big.  Let go of fear.  Let go of what people will think of you. Breathe. Trust the journey.  The right answers will show up.  Do the work.  Ask Spirit/God/Universe for what you want … and then get ready for the unfolding …  and the blessings.

Thank you for sharing this walk with me.  If you have enjoyed this post, please like and share it with others!

www.debendres.com

 

 

Here’s the Thing … Collage Wisdom #3

20181017_063322_HDRWhat a relief!

It’s so easy to worry.  Look back with regrets.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda.  The best thing about looking back, is the wisdom I’ve gained to move forward.  It’s true – every situation has had Divine Timing.  Mind you, I did not/do not care BEING in certain life events, but when they were most difficult, Earth Angels came in at just the right moments.  They helped me walk through tough stuff with divorce, depression and single parenting.  I’ve learned much, going through the muck.  I’m stronger than I ever thought I’d be.  I’m braver.  The Universe does know exactly what it is doing and an incredible teacher.  I have to take ownership in playing my role in it.  (Not scoring 5 Stars is a reality check!  Yes, I’ll admit to less than stellar performances.)  Breathing helps, every single time!  My asking for help, being willing to change my way of thinking, being adventurous enough to try new things … like dating, for example, were keys to opening doors to new life … and believe happiness would greet me.

20181017_063303_HDR It did!

The Universe is still playing with me on the dating thing … none-the-less, my life is filled with happiness, because there are lots of doors in life to open, and I’m twisting a lot of knobs!!  Not all of them open.  I respect that now.  I don’t try to bust or jiggle them open anymore.  I’ve noticed …  light, from a door cracked open in the dark – is amazingly bright.  Look at the stars and the moon on a partly cloudy night – see how the light ebbs and flows with banks of clouds, or wisps … as the earth faithfully turns.  It’s taking time to notice a door is actually open … and being willing to walk through it and … play!

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Blessings and Love,

Namaste

Debbie

www.debendres.com

 

 

 

Here’s the Thing … Collage Wisdom #2

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Welcome to this Mini-Series on the

Unfolding Collage Wisdom of Life & Changes 

You don’t always need a plan … That’s easier said than done!  How about you?  Maybe it was the way I was raised, because, there was always a plan.  Life wasn’t in order if there wasn’t a plan.  Then, there was a back-up plan for just in case, right?  Wrapping my brain around not always having a plan has been a decades-long exercise in … breathing and allowing.  If it was exercise in the physical sense, I’d be buffed and toned beyond belief !  ‘Don’t/Always’, are key here … because sometimes plans are necessary = Life. Reality.  I’m encouraging the realization in not having a plan, is being open to possibilities that perhaps haven’t been thought of or imagined yet.

Sometimes you just need to breathe … I’ve noticed, breathing is a theme in my collage.  It’s been a word I’ve used over and over with clients.  Because, it’s so important.  Many would get gold stars for shallow breathing … it’s the deep breaths that make a difference.  That oxygen into our cells, is a bit of a miracle in itself.   I practice mindful breathing, it’s amazing how my body softens and worries melt when I consciously pay attention to my breath.  The long-term effects, for me … mellower in my response to negative events going on in life.  I’m focused on the present, this moment. Now.  So grateful.

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A recent gift from a friend … Thanks, Karen!

Let go and see what happens …  Wheee ….  Yikes … BREATHE … This is where I acknowledge how grateful I am for the gift of faith.  Letting go of the plans.  Trusting and believing Spirit/God and I are ok.  There is a time, a connection, a place greater than I can even imagine, all coming into place.   Surrendering and accepting what is right now, is a relief and also a sense of excitement.  Allowing life to surprise me in most amazing ways.  And when I let go with ease and grace and nothing is happening … in whatever I deem is a reasonable time … then I’m ok with making a move to do something.  It’s usually in-line with the whisper/nudge/tap I talked about in Collage Wisdom #1.

You don’t always need a plan.  Sometimes you just need to breathe.  Let go and see what happens.

More to come!

Blessings and Love,

Namaste

Debbie

 

Re-entry to Life after Nepal … #10

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A brief update!

After cancelled flights and an ambulance ride from the airplane to a Seattle hospital for Amy (she’s hopefully home tomorrow feeling better than ever), I’m home.  It’s taking me more time to adjust than I expected.  Partly due to lack of sleep, partly antibiotics for intestinal bugs, and my body catching up with time, along with concern for Amy.  That’s not including the processing and ‘downloading’ my brain is doing following this amazing experience.

Yesterday, to get grounded, I layered myself up with tee-shirt/long sleeved flannel shirt along with a red hoodie – and headed to a lake in my neighborhood.  My Spirit was calling for nature.  I remember the Chitwan jungle and how restored I was in being surrounded by trees, plants and animals.  Mother Nature is healing.  Yesterday – Brrr! (Chilly-ness and beauty surrounded me).  I love autumn, and was thinking I would miss all the colors – I didn’t!

Gotta love Minnesota and the ever-changing seasons!

I’m still processing – and giving myself time to BE in this space of brain-fog, healing and sleep recovery.  There will be a post or two more about my thoughts on Nepal.  This is mostly letting you know Amy’s soon to be home, I’m home … and sharing this adventure with you, has been a gift.  You have no idea how your support, encouragement and love has touched my life.  Because of my sister, Kyung, and her providing me this journey, all of us have been connected with the sharing of this story.

My cup runneth over with gratitude and so much Love …

Namaste

 

Giving Back to Nepal #9

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~Portal Bikes ~

We have a few hours left in Kathmandu … before we head home to Minnesota, USA.  I really want to share about Portal Bikes before leaving.

As I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, it’s hard for me … heart-wrenching …  to say “No”, to people who ask me for money, or send their children to me, pleading for money.  Portal Bikes, is my gateway to donating.  I know this awesome non-profit has the integrity and heart, to touch lives, in a big way throughout Nepal.

William’s absolute enthusiasm led us to visiting the Nepal Store where Amy and I were able to visit with Kevin Persson, the Director of Logistics, and have a tour.  We were able to see how the long and mid tail bikes are put together and hear stories about the impact these bikes are making for Nepali’s – from employment, to growing individual businesses.  They also worked to rebuild villages after the earthquake in 2015.

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Kevin Persson

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Portal Bike Employees – Photo by Amy McLain

Throughout our 3 week stay in Nepal, we saw bicycles used to haul all kinds of things – ladders, garbage, vegetables, and fruits, appliances, groceries, children/families, fish, furniture – and they were often older bikes.  Portal Bikes are making life easier and safer, and for many Nepali’s, their work delivering product is done with speed – thus having the ability to do more and increase their income. Being able to spend time with Kevin, solidified my desire to make a difference for someone in Nepal.

There are different ways to donate through Portal Bikes:

  • One time donation
  • Donate $300 for a Portal Cargo Bike
  • Donate Monthly

Portal is a registered 501c3 organization.  Donations are tax deductible, and they directly impact the lives of people trying to escape poverty.  We work hard to keep our expenses low and our impact high.    

 

I’m going for the $300 for the Portal Cargo Bike.  Here’s where my money – your money, too – will go regarding the Bike:

We will use your generous donation to manufacture and deliver a bicycle to a person in need. Since we focus on serving the poor, oftentimes we “finance” the bikes, allowing the customer pays an amount upfront and then make weekly payments. Once the bicycle you donated is paid for, we use those same funds to manufacture and deliver another bicycle. The cycle repeats itself indefinitely, meaning that your money will live for a long time, making a difference again and again.

How awesome is that?!

Making a tiny difference in a great big world … one drop that ripples …

Perhaps you’ll join me?

Make sure you mention “William sent me!”  Without his passionate heart, we never would have known about Portal Bikes.

And so, we’re off for home.  Leaving a country that has made a lasting imprint in my heart.

Sending love to all …

Namaste