Tag Archive | Travel

Choosing Our Path …

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Lake Superior Driftwood Inspiration … Which Path to Take?

DEB Art – Dream. Embrace. Believe.

Many of us have a special place that is healing for us.  Renews us.  Welcomes us.  Accepts us just as we are.  The shores of Lake Superior is ‘that place’, for me.  This piece of driftwood called to me, as I was reflecting on life.  I picked it up and brought it home.

The driftwood looks like a road to me – Life clear sailing – straight ahead … until there comes a Y.  Now I have to choose.  Life is full of choices.  Some choices are black and white, clear as day.  Others are fuzzy, spider-leggy – going out in every direction.  Living life – we choose.  The thing of it is … any choice … it’ll be ok.  Mistake?  Lesson learned.  Make a new choice.  Thank goodness for options, hm?  Not choosing, is also a choice, which took a while for me to understand … I get it now.

Author, Mike Dooley, has a great analogy.  He talks about a GPS System we put our outcome on life into – our destination choice.

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Photo by Mike Bird on Pexels.com

(My friend, Cindy, referred to GPS as God-Powered-System – love it!).  Once it’s entered, we trust the GPS to get us ‘there’.  Sometimes, there are detours, unexpected stops, open-flying freeways – you get the idea.  We simply trust, the GPS will ultimately get us there … despite worries, despite unforeseen happenings, despite overthinking something to the Nth Degree … we get there.  Wisdom teaches us … worry doesn’t help … nor does overthinking.  That GPS – God-Powered System – has our back.

I loved how the driftwood Y’d out … and came back to center.  I put a clear crystal in copper (connection) with a feather = Spirit/God.  The beads and shells are choices and experiences along the way.  One took a little bit longer, meandering and experiencing life, but all came from the center.

My encouragement to you: Trust.  Make choices as best you can.  There will be mistakes.  There will be lessons learned.  You will become more wise with each lesson you experience.  Life isn’t always a open-flying freeway – enjoy it when it is.  Breathe through the detours.  Trust (again).  Take time-out to enjoy a place that fills you up and restores you.  Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it … and be grateful for the blessings that unfold.

How’s your journey going?

Thank you for joining me on mine!

See More DEB Art.

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

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

Photo by me

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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

 

 

#NaniboujouLadies2019 … The Story Continues … Day 2

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We made it!  No more dreaming.  This is real! 

Enjoying our first meal … award winning menu … so many choices … 

After unpacking and checking out the beach, we were hungry and headed to The Lodge.  The Lodge boasts Minnesota’s largest native rock fireplace, a 200 ton work of art which stands in the 30 by 80 foot dining room.  Do you see the walls and ceiling?  It is brilliantly decorated in designs of the Cree Indian and has never been repainted.

Naniboujou is Cree for ‘the god of the outdoors’.  Back in the 1920’s, Naniboujou was created as an ultra-exclusive private club, boasting charter members Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Ring Lardner.  A membership of 1000 was originally sought, but when the black market crashed on “Black Tuesday”, the club began to fail.  We had heard, the hopes included boats loading from Chicago with Naniboujou Lodge as the ultimate destination.  Tim and Nancy Ramey are the owners and hosts … grateful their guests ‘return seeking a quiet, peaceful, and natural environment. They come to gather their senses and to replenish both body and spirit in a place called Naniboujou.’

After dinner, we went to the beach, until the cool weather sent us inside to the solarium.  Then our senses told us we needed sleep!  The rooms are cozy.  We all slept well and went together for a marvelous breakfast (yes, food delightfully prepared by someone else will continue to be a recurring theme)!  Becky, Leslie and AnnMarie headed into Grand Marais to explore.  (We had stopped at their Food Co-Op before arriving – what a great Co-Op – we highly recommend!)  Pam and I wanted our time out on the beach, as close to Lake Superior as we could be.  The 3 Ladies headed out, to return for Tea at 3!

Pam spent her time on one end of the beach … I was on the other.  Every now and again, we’d connect, but mostly enjoyed our quiet, reflective, meditative time.  #onthebeach  #withlakesuperior  I marveled at her creations.  Here are a couple:

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I spent my afternoon, evening and part of the next morning, contemplating on life, giving thanks … and using an awesome 8 foot log … and a beach filled with stones (I focused on the white ones) to create an alter of sorts.  I ended up with this.  When I found the big heart stone, I knew I was finished and placed it in front of the log.  More details are on a recent Instagram post here.

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Photo by Leslie

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Photo by Becky

While in Grand Marais, Becky couldn’t resist the sun and warm stone beckoning her.  Once again, allowing the gift of Mother Earth to fill her up!

Photo by AnnMarie

Tea Time was at 3pm.  We dressed up and decided to enjoy it in the solarium.  Oh my, it was prepared with table cloth and lace, dainty dishes and gold silverware.  The sandwiches, biscuit and cookies were a tasty delight!

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Pam, Me, Becky ~ AnnMarie and Leslie (The Hat Ladies!)

We spent the rest of the day, hanging out.  Some took naps.  Some read.  Some played on the beach.  Some painted.

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Leslie enjoyed her time with a butterfly!

She didn’t divulge that conversation!

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AnnMarie painting.

Photo by Leslie

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Pam and AnnMarie on the deck.  We had beautiful weather!

Photo by me

That evening, we had a campfire!  It was a special time.  Heidi joined us for a bit, then Matthew and Greg spent the rest of the evening with us.  Fire blazing, Lake Superior’s gentle waves, along with the moon and stars … made for a night to light our hearts for a long time.

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Pam was our great fire-starter.

Photo by AnnMarie

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Photo by Becky

Then we headed in for our last sleep at Naniboujou Lodge. (For this trip!)

With moonlight shining on our pillows and the gentle waves singing us to sleep.

Next Up: Our last day – Coming Home – Re-entering the Real World … Ooftah!

Thank you for joining me/us on the journey.  We’re glad you’re here.

Please “Like” and “Share”!

 

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.

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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!

 

A Reminder …

20180803_080715_0001Iona’s Beach on the Shore of Lake Superior

This summer, one of the places I was mesmerized with, was Iona’s Beach, on the Shores of Lake Superior.  This pink stone beach is known for the “tinking” sound you hear as the waves ebb and flow against the stones on the beach.  I’m familiar with sandy beaches, so walking here was very purposeful … with my sandals on!

I love the energy of Lake Superior.  The stones on this beach were soft rounded edges, smoothed by the consistent washing of the waves over thousands of years.  While strolling, I discovered a beautiful teal/gray stone in the midst of the pink.  It took my breath away.

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It was a gentle way for Mother Earth and Spirit/God to whisper,

“There is no one like you.”

We are not alone.

We are surrounded by many.

But in this whole wide world, there is only one YOU.

How wonderful is that?!

In the busy minutes of life … I remember that beautiful stone … I pause … and embrace the ebb and flow … allowing it to soften my edges … and breathe!

Blessings and Love,

Namaste

Debbie

I Found It! A Treasure Trove of Wisdom

This book is for anyone who is called by Spirit – that whispered voice within – nudging us to go on a sacred journey. A Pilgrimage is both an external journey to a place longed for and an internal journey to the center of our most authentic self.  So … it can be right out your own back door, or … to a holy shrine …  a Camino journey … a bus in Peru … a horse up a mountain … a car dodging crater holes and on-coming traffic in the Himalayan Mountains … you get the idea!

I don’t know Evans Bowen, yet.  I hope someday, I will.  She has traveled all over the world with her eyes, heart and spirit open to all that is sacred … and BEing her authentic self.

I am loving her insight:

“Each of us is called to different places, to different journeys, as we seek our most meaningful and authentic lives. – Pilgrimage is about devotion and initiation and transformation.  It is a journey from one way of seeing to another.  The specifics are be between you and the Divine.”

PILGRIMAGE A Modern Seeker’s Guide, starts with the basics, from explaining the History of Pilgrimage, to the Stages of Pilgrimages.  I appreciated her practical information for first time travelers:

Preparation – Have the right equipment, be physically ready, read up, get your house in order and paper work set, travel arrangements organized – so when the thinking part is done, you are ready to embrace the experience.

You head out the door – your journey is real.  It has begun.  You are officially a Pilgrim!

And then you arrive …

“When that moment comes for you – take a deep breath of thanksgiving.  In can be overwhelming, and it might be different than you imagined.  There can be tears or just quiet joy and wonder.  Sometimes when I get to my destination, all thinking just stops.  My conscious mind is on overload.  It can be a challenge to stay present, the energy can be so overwhelming.  Accept that your reaction is right for you.  Use all your senses to feel, hear, touch, smell and see the magic.”  – Evans Bowen 

After untold magic, you return “Home”, transformed … and begin to integrate the ‘transformed you’, into your life.  It can take you off-guard.  I wish I would have had her advice before leaving on my trip to Nepal.  “Re-entry” for me, was not easy, it took me much longer than I expected to find my balance following my arrival home.

Part 2 – 40 Day Pilgrimages – Here’s where the treasure trove of wisdom really connects!  Evans is incredible with daily spiritual and practical insight.  I found myself not wanting to finish the book, because then it would be over!  Thankfully, mindfully, I am going to enjoy and embrace the daily sacred time this book offers me over the next 40 days.

To summarize PILGRIMAGE A Modern Seeker’s Guide, ( not my words, but perfect!): Combining practical steps for the physical journey and 40 days of inspiration for the spirit, this guide book gives this time-honored journey to the Divine to inform the whole person in our increasingly fragmented world.

Oh, how I hope you will get this 100 page book of wisdom!  You can pre-order:  Click here!  It’s coming out in May.  It’s been an honor to get an advanced copy so I could write this review.  Thank you, Becky Flansburg … you are right, my Spirit resonated with every page.

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Kathmandu … Here We Come! #4

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We’re off!

First stop: Dubai

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The sun was streaming through the windows as we landed, so I was able to get a sense of the immense desert that ripples in the wind … and the intense morning heat.

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Flying into Dubai

About 34 hours after leaving Washington DC we arrived in Kathmandu.  The morning after, we enjoyed coffee and breakfast a few steps from the apartment: Top of the World Coffee is a favorite, already!

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William took Amy and me out on a trek around the neighborhood, across the river from Kathmandu.  People are kind.  Traffic is crazy – really.  USA metro traffic has nothing on these drivers.  Lots of horns, scooters, with sometimes 3 people riding, bicycles that are also used for various transportation of goods needed.  The streets are narrow, sometimes hard surfaced, sometimes not.  Shops line the streets, often the shop owners sit outside their doors to greet you when you walk by, with a welcoming, “Namaste”.

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Refrigerator being delivered.

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New construction – bamboo scaffolding.

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Amy in Thamel – Incredible Shopping Experience!

Thursday, we girls went to Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu. Words can’t describe the beauty.  Such a peaceful place within a bustling city.  Here are a few favorite pictures:

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We were encouraged by Kyung and William to look into a private tour package and are waiting for some details …. hmmm … I’ll keep you posted!

I could not have dreamed a dream this BIG!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and best wishes …

Sending Love to All ~ Debbie