One power: Love

During my last week off, I spent 3 days on an emotional healing retreat in Sedona before settling into my winter home in Sierra Vista.  I spent time in guided meditation and other amazing types of healing sessions all centered on letting go of residual emotional garbage that continues to replay in my mind regardless of my efforts.  Something clicked this time; there is only one power worth investing in, and that is Love!

Three years ago I quit life, got in my car and drove across the country with the purpose to hug trees and love myself again.  It was a wildly successful trip, yet healing a lifetime of self-depreciating beliefs takes more than one road trip to rewrite loving messages across my heart, soul, and mind. I gifted myself with 4 days of healing with Inner Journeys on that 2015 trip.  Returning to Inner Journeys on this particular trip of 2018 felt kind of like coming home.  It is always easier to work with trusted healers after they already understand your brand of “messed up”.

The resonating message during this retreat revolved around my lack of feeling safe and worthy of love, help, companionship, etc.  For those of you who understand chakras, my root chakra was in dire straits.  During a session, I shared that frequently I feel as though I’m hovering above my bed and that I have to remind myself that it is okay to allow the bed/floor/earth to hold me.  It was not so surprising to realize, that I am in constant fight or flight mode.  A go-to technique for me to find peace is physical exhaustion.  You pick the physical activity that I possess the skills for and I will do it until I have nothing left; yoga, running, cycling, hiking, and dancing.  If I am not sweating, it isn’t “enough”. I am able to understand this underlying insane drive and chose to do something different.

I am a Human Being, not a Human Doing. Being requires nothing of me other than to be me, oh and breathe.  Learning more specific meditation tailored to me proved to be profound.  Yet understanding and embracing there is only one power, LOVE, is the game changer.  My focus, energy, thoughts, and beliefs have been divided between Fear and Love.  More often than not, Fear received all of my attention with the hope that one day I would conquer the Fear and then Love would win.  Well, that is not how it works.  I had it backward.  Love is the only power worth my time, effort and energy. Then and only then will Fear fall away.

Choosing Love over Fear is simple to say and embrace when in the safety of my room or in the blissful Sedona environment.  Yet, step outside of Sedona and watch what happens.  The micro decisions made all day long prove to be harder than you realize!  All is fine with focusing on Love with ease until you are lost in the woods, literally.

Just yesterday I took my first hike in Sierra Vista, AZ.  According to my trusty hiking app, this particular canyon hike was to be a 5-mile loop.  Well, that loop turned into a 9 mile vaguely looped unmarked ending with hopes to find the car.  Now that is when it took everything I had inside of me to feed Love, not Fear.  I had water, snacks, a tracker with an SOS button if I got into real trouble, good hiking shoes, no injuries so I kept going.  Eventually, I was going downhill and found a house at the beginning of a road with a light on.  As Journey and I walked up to the house soaked because it had been raining for the past hour and a half, I had to work to choose Love.  I found myself giggling at the sight we must be when a woman nervously answered the door.  I wonder what she chose, Love or Fear.  All I wanted to know was where we were.  Fortunately, we were on the same road as our car according to the last directions I used on Google.  Sadly we were at 33 on the house numbers and our car was at 799.    Continuing to choose Love, we ran and walked along the street to our car and arrived before dark.  Safely making it home we were just in time for chicken soup.  The maps for the area have been downloaded to my Garmin, my housemates’ numbers are in my contacts, and we are ready for our next hike.

Embracing Love rather than Fear kept me much calmer, allowed me to talk a LOT to God along the hike, and kept me grounded during the whole experience.  Today I explored a nearby town, Bisbee.  Being unfamiliar with that area as well, I connected with shopkeepers and followed their advice.  I wandered around aimlessly most of the afternoon.  Much to my surprise, I was more relaxed because there were people around to ask for ideas and directions at every turn.  Continuing to choose Love gifted me with the opportunity to be completely present in each moment of my day.  It was nothing short of heavenly!

Choosing LOVE,

Kristin

Forever student

Family vacation after 40 years

The last family vacation was the summer of my 6th year of life.  We were at Lewes, Delaware beach camping in tents on the sand. I stayed in the tent with my parents while my big brothers had a tent to their own.  Their tent was waterproof, ours was not. Dad and Mom cooked dinner at the campsite nightly. Dessert was a can of fruit cocktail. At that time there was only one cherry in the mix.  It was a mad sword fight of the forks to capture that solo cherry. I am not sure if I ever was successful, yet it was great fun every night!

  Now we are all grown up with grown kids of our own.  The nuclear family and their mates came to this cabin retreat in Boone, NC.  The talk of having a family vacation was to occur Someday.  

Where does the time go?  In the end, does it really matter?  We are here now, enjoying the woods, water and each other.  Shared meals, clinking glasses, stories of love, heartache and support fill the air.  We explore together a new patch of the globe. I am so happy to be all together in this magical place.  Afternoons are filled with reading, hot tub talking, and naps after mornings filled with intense hiking or shopping.  Life does not get much better than this.

On the last family vacation 40 years ago, the big brothers were venturing off to college and early adulthood.  There were many conversations about successful navigation of the next chapter of life. I remember sitting in awe as I had another decade until I would even begin to experiencing that life phase.  Now we sit around the table and discuss the transition to retirement with just as much wonder, worry and delight as we did all those years ago dreaming of adulthood. I am not planning to work full time for another decade; I am slightly behind them in the phase of life too.   Even today, I look forward to joining them in the retirement phase.

A cabin in the woods along the water was something I remember both parents talking about frequently.  Life and death got in the way and we are finally here.  That someday finally became today. Mom and I are the single gals that even out the pack to 6. The sweetest part is that this spectacular cabin is owned by our cousin.  We can’t help ourselves from remembering our youth altogether. That cousin joined us one summer during our beach vacation in tents.  That particular year the VW bus broke down and extended our vacation unexpectedly.  All the kids were delighted!

As a child, I wanted to hurry up and join my brothers in the phase of life where they were.  Now in middle adulthood, we have come to a similar place in life with adult children.  They are wonderful advocates as I navigate life slightly behind them.  There is an unfair advantage that I am fortunate to experience.  Finally, they don’t consider me the annoying little sister too often.  It is amazing to reflect on how the last 40 years has played out for all of us.

Who knows what the next family vacation will have in store for us.  I just hope it is not in another 40 years, or it may have to be in a nursing home!  There is nothing quite like the sound of family laughter to lift your spirits.  This time together as a nuclear family plus spouses has been spectacular.  5 days is the sweet spot of time together.  2 of the days are filled with travel while 3 days are dedicated to adventure. 

Our unforgettable moment will forever be the 5-foot long black snake on the windowsill of my brother’s room.  You have never heard so much screaming and laughter.  I was alerted to this snake and walked up the stairs all confident.  I mean, it’s a harmless snake, right?  I walk in the room to take a look as I hear my brother say it’s at least 5-feet long.  My eyes spy the snake as my brain takes in the information of the size.  Before, I know it, I am on top of the chair yelling at the top of my lungs, “Holy Shiiiiiiit!” Next thing I know I am in the kitchen on top of the cabinets as the ladies in the house are running out of the room.  Good thing the brothers were calm with a plan to remove the snake in a box safely.  

We have not stopped laughing since!

Cheers to the Family,

Kristin Springfield

Day 2 hiking and a concert!

Bloomington, Indiana has many wonderful things to offer free spirits.  There a numerous hiking trails throughout the rolling hills with magnificent trees to hug.  Those trees welcome tutus as well.   In Nashville, In there are several art studios to wander through.  I have not had any inner stirrings to paint or be creative for the past few years.  Today, I felt a joyful desire to do something creative again.  Fortunately, Brian and Pearl make beautiful pottery, and I will have the opportunity to dabble in pottery while I am here.  Our early evening included visiting a local pub with live music that started at 5 PM and ended at 7 PM.  Those times are perfect for us, as we need to settle in for a night of pizza and watch project runway.

My beloved family played a dirty trick on me today.  While I was hungry they took me into a magical grocery store filled with gluten free food options not available in Danville.  My budget may be blown before I even leave here on Monday!  Oh well, in the meantime I will enjoy cookies and treats that have not been in my life for many years.  Fig newtons, lemon shortbread cookies and delicious hazelnut dark chocolate bars, oh my.  Top that off with local wines and I am in heaven!

Namaste!
Kristin Springfield
Inspired, Hungry, and ready for a nap 🙂