Leaving home

Yesterday I left my Sioux Falls home.  Tears flowed as I pulled away.  Having yearned for the feeling of home for so long, finding it and then I just left it.  What the hell is wrong with me?  Granted the invitation is there for me to come back.  It was also a wonderful snapshot in time and was never meant to be forever.  Is anything meant to be forever?  Except being with ourselves, of course.  I am beginning to think this life path is all about coming home to ourselves and loving ourselves to pieces just as we are.  I am getting there; if that is the purpose.  Honestly, what I want more than anything is a partnership, and I have them in very different ways. Maybe I have been looking at the closed door of a romantic partnership so long that I forgot to turn around to see all of the other open doors and windows.  So far the partnerships seem to magically show up and stay for a mysterious amount of time and then vanish.  Yet these partnerships are not romantic.

May 4th, I pulled up to my Sioux Falls home without any expectation just filled with hope and delight.  Within 15 minutes of meeting Jess and Tom, they decided to keep Journey and me for the summer.  I was selected, chosen, invited and included.  All of the things I have been begging the universe for simply showed up in a completely unexpected way.  Here, I have been looking for this experience in a romantic relationship, which clearly has not shown up and is probably the best thing for me in this phase of life.  I just can’t believe I left.  Sure I can say it was time to move on and that I have another job awaiting me in a place that I chose to spend my winter.  But in this case, it is me that left this incredible place and feeling not someone leaving me.

Jess and Tom gave me a gift that I was to open later, which was a good thing.  The card and necklace touched my heart in a way that immediately made me sob. Being truly seen, witnessed, heard and enjoyed authentically has been a struggle for a great many years.  I have a gift when it comes to not allowing myself to feel that kind of love in my direction, especially for my goofy authentic self.  Somewhere along the path of this life,  I agreed with the false belief that I am not worthy and certainly not good enough to receive love.  As I bust apart that ridiculous lie, love comes rushing in from all angles.  I am so grateful for all of this love, but I have to admit, I lack experience in knowing how to stand still and absorb it.  I get squeamish and have a difficult time making direct eye contact as incredible words are said to me.  I just keep opening my heart with my eyes wide open in order to absorb every morsel of love.  Just bear with me as I am still learning.  There is a part of me that just wants to shake my shoulders while saying, “Get it through your thick head, YOU ARE LOVED and are WORTHY!  Now get busy letting it in!!”

So here I am in another magical place, Circle View Guest Ranch, where I am loved by people and Jack, the Jackass.  I am greeted with hugs from humans and nuzzle kisses from the Donkey.  My heart just sings even louder as I let this love in.  My time off in between assignments is about collecting love from friends in preparation for finding my beloved Arizona family.  They are out there and will magically show up in a completely different and unexpected way.  The only requirement for me is to be me with my heart open.  Sounds easy enough right?  Yikes!

The connection shows up as needed, I suppose.  Just last night I sat out on the patio watching the incredible sunset.  My plan was to stay outside to stargaze.  As the sky began to transition from sunset to stargazing, two other guests came over and asked to join me.  We stayed out late talking and laughing all about growing up in the 70s and 80s.  It felt amazing to laugh and carry on about “The Old Days”  before the internet and struggles that modern children will never have.  Who remembers calling information (#411) and asking school work questions to an actual human?  Google took the place of that. What about the struggle of phone privacy with a landline and a 25-foot long cord to hide in a closet so you could talk with your boyfriend?  I completely forgot about calling a specific number for the time and temperature.  It was an amazing connection that magically ended as they drove off this morning on their adventure.

I am finding home in moments rather than physical places.  Maybe I am finally onto something.  Could it be peace?  The greatest part about this phase in life is I am finally learning that you never really leave home, for the feeling is always within you.

Thank you so much to Jess, Tom, Jack the Jackass, The Kruse family and fellow guests for coming into my life to remind me of home and worthiness of love!




The lessons of Sioux Falls, SD

My time in Sioux Falls, SD is coming to a close. I have visited here 3 times, yet something in me wanted to live here for longer than a weekend.  I am delightedly grateful that opportunity presented itself in April.   I have had an amazing time here. The lessons are many! Let’s review what I learned or remembered while living here:

  1. I love living with people who are kind
  2. Hearing and saying “Good Morning”, “Have a great day”, “Good night”, “Coffee is ready” makes life so much more enjoyable to live
  3. Riding my bike from Spoke-N-Sport with streamers is joyful.  Having Journey run along beside me is even better.
  4. Sparkle encrusted glasses make sight more fun.  My prescription changed just enough to warrant new glasses.  When I put on my new specs, the world literally came into amazing focus.  Funny how that works!
  5. Taking myself on dates is a great practice and empowering.  Being a single woman has its’ peaks and valleys, yet I am determined to not let my relationship status dictate my adventures.  I found myself looking forward to solo dates.  I went wherever I wanted whenever I wanted and met incredible people along the way.  It turns out that it is fun dressing up no matter what.  Looks like, I may finally be embracing the desires of the young spirit that lives inside of me!
  6. Just go to the events you want to regardless.  This town is riddled with music festivals all summer long. The perk is that I ride my bike to many of them.  Yes, I have lights on the bike for my safe night time riding.
  7. I thrive in full family infiltration.  I rent a room from the most amazing couple in all of the land; Tom and Jessica Ries.  They are now my Sioux Falls family along with all of their family and friends.  This feeling of inclusion is by far the way I want to live my life.  I look forward to finding an Arizona family to take me in for the winter!
  8. Live music in a small bar is sweet!  If you get to Sioux Falls, be sure to visit Ferson on 8th on Friday’s, Remedy on 8th and Railroad on Saturday (well, any day is great there), and Bin 201.  I look forward to coming back ASAP; in the summer of course.  
  9. A thorough orientation is mandatory to set me up for success.  Because I have only worked for 3 companies during my 24-year career, I forgot how important the orientation is.  They may be boring, but make all the difference in the world when I have to get up to speed quickly.  
  10. I am a kinesthetic learner, MUST have an example, and have to perform the task at least once for it to stick.  You can talk to me all day long, but if I don’t actually do the task or play the game, you have wasted your breath.  
  11. Cooking and eating as a family makes eating worthwhile.  It has been delightful cooking for Tom and Jessica.  We have shared recipes and exposed each other to new things.  Apparently, I like to bake.  That is something I did not notice until Jess pointed it out.  What I really like is to eat sweets.  Since I am gluten free, tasty items need to be homemade.  
  12. First dates are educational for certain!  I have had a number of first dates over the past 6 months.  They have all been interesting to say the very least.  There are many things that should not be shared in the first 15 minutes of meeting someone. 
  13. Do NOT let someone leave ANYTHING with you before the 5th date.  It just makes it awkward.
  14. CH Patisserie has the very best macaroons I have ever had.  Vanilla and pistachio are the flavors I could consume all day!
  15. Biking in a dress is best with bike shorts.
  16. Amazon Prime is worth the money.
  17. AMT (Amy Miller Training) Yoga sculpt classes create results that are amazing, remember to take days off, or your body will scream at you
  18. Massages are worth the time and money when doing AMT 5 days a week
  19. Bean Bag tournaments are so much fun even when you suck at it
  20. Inclusion matters, so does exclusion.  Both say something to the person involved, be considerate and mindful of the message you send.
  21. Catan, Ticket to Ride and card games create a connection like nothing else can.  I lived with gamers (not the video kind)
  22. Marissa Reveland is amazing!  She is my recruiter and lifesaver from Med Travelers.
  23. Allowing space for loved ones to show up however and whenever they want to is very difficult, but necessary for growth.  Just keep breathing while you wait with the door to your heart open.
  24. Being ghosted hurts. Tell people when you are not interested 
  25. The Marco Polo app has allowed me to stay super connected with friends all over the country in a way that works for us.  Add the helium voice to the message and I am laughing for days.
  26. Comedy specials get me through some of the tough moments.
  27. Be still, breathe, and set yourself free.
  28. Nobody is watching or really cares about what you are doing.  Just live your life

I look forward to what the next 6 months have in store for me!


Kristin Springfield

I had no idea!

We make choices along with commitments and have no clue how life will look as a result of those choices.  It is not just the damaging ones such as choosing to smoke that can have unanticipated outcomes. Yes, there is plenty of information to support that smoking is bad for you.  However, the long term results of smoking look different on everyone. Choices and commitments that we could all agree to be positive also have drastically different long term effects we can’t possibly prepare for.

About 10-ish years ago after much self reflection, I realized that changes in my relationship with myself were necessary in order to live a better life.  Self-improvement has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Yet that improvement was focused on external things like buying an old house to fix up, getting married, losing weight after pregnancy, physical fitness goals, and financial planning for security.  It was time to take the long-needed journey within to have a better relationship with myself in order to live my best life.

That may sound like a pleasant road with unicorns and butterflies leading the way to a magical land of healthy self-love.  Not even close, it is more like trying to swim in a tidal wave! There are times with great bliss, but there are also incredibly dark spaces that make it hard to breathe. We are stronger than we think we are, but recently I have been wondering when I might be able to catch my breath.  There has been a recent tidal wave of crap that has landed at my feet. Even though it is not my mess, I still have to deal with it while being true to myself at the same time. I shake my head in disbelief as I look skyward saying, “You have my attention.  What would you have me do?”

After making the commitment to live my best life all those years ago, things started to shift immediately.  I try to stay hyper-aware of making sure my choices are in alignment with my commitment to my highest self. As a human, I am prone to fall out of practice from time to time.  In this new way of life, the first thing to change was my friendships. The ones filled with negativity and drama fell away quickly. I simply no longer participated in the drama and then there was nothing connecting us together anymore.  In addition to not participating in drama, I no longer took responsibility for the emotions of others, or for the messes they created. Now that is precisely the decision that changed every aspect of life as I knew it. Yes, it is my responsibility to be respectful and kind to others, but that does not require me to be the doormat.  I finally, decided to stand up from the doormat position, grab the key to freedom that had been under me the whole time, open the door and walk through it.

In doing just that consistently and repeatedly, eventually, every key relationship in my life changed.  Some were for the better. The relationship with my parents and siblings blossomed. Authentic friends and experiences magically found their way into my life unexpectedly.  Simultaneously, the key players in my daily life including but not limited to my now ex-husband, stepchildren, job, where I live, and what car I drove, all vanished away completely and did so almost overnight.  

There was one particular evening about 4 years ago when I reached a point of no return.  The chasm of change became the size of the Grand Canyon with no way to undo what I started 6 years beforehand.  The Universe and God respond to our desires. We start a chain reaction with our thoughts, emotions, and efforts.  Coupled with continuous action results are bound to occur over time. There should be a warning that flashes before our eyes as we approach the point of no return.

On that particular evening, there was a conversation that resulted in feeling like I had been punched in the gut. I remember folding forward and sobbing the ugly kind of cry.  No words came out of my mouth as the verbal attack continued. Even though I no longer took responsibility for the mess and emotions that belonged to others it did not mean that the other people were supportive of that.  Actually, I found the opposite to be true. That evening was awful, to say the least. I managed to hold my hand up to signal, “STOP”. With much effort, I was able to end the conversation and leave the room. All I wanted was a tall glass of wine, a box of tissues, and my bed.  During the walk to my room, my daughter saw me and rushed to my side. Sadly, she had witnessed events like this over the past several months, but this one was different. She pulled me into her room and hugged me saying how much she loved me. No child should see their mother in this state, but there was nothing I could do to hide it now.  I gathered myself and said, “I believe that when you take steps to be your very best self the universe responds to guide you there. I just did not realize that might mean the key players in my current life would leave. I believe this journey is still worth it! I will keep walking toward my highest self.”

Life today as I know it, is completely different than that night so long ago.  Thank God! Surprisingly, there are still messes from the past that bubble up to the present that require my attention.  Standing up for myself sometimes leaves me standing alone. Even though it is not a mess of my creation, because it is laying at my feet, I am forced to deal with it.  Old patterns of fear, panic and sadness automatically arrive, but now I have better skills to deal with it! Love is bigger than anything in its way.

Dear Universe,

I look forward to seeing how this continued commitment to my highest self turns out, but I could use a little breather if you don’t mind.

Sincerely your forever student,