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Volume 7, Issue 6 | June 2018


The clothes are unpacked and the laundry done... the suitcase stowed in the garage... refrig stocked again with vittles. I'm home, getting reacclimated to the desert and being in my own bed after a week's whirlwind travel adventure to the East Coast initiated by the celebration and remembrance event for my recently departed dear friend/"older sister" Samara.

With four plane rides, along with boat, bus, train, and auto transportation thrown into the mix, I traveled first to Fort Lauderdale to join others in giving Samara a wonderful send-off via Coastal Yacht Tours. And, what a send-off it was! A small, intimate gathering of souls connected by Samara, Spirit, and love, aboard a yacht, imbibing champagne (along with appetizers lest you think we drank on empty stomachs), sharing photos, memories, and the impact Samara had on our lives; a delicious dinner of various seafood at a gourmet restaurant; and, on the ride back, singing, more sharing, tears, and setting our beloved friend free. Samara would've loved it -- right down to taking our shoes off and going barefoot!

After Fort Lauderdale, I visited a friend north of Tampa who I last saw 13 years ago when I visited the Big Apple for a post-wedding gathering; it was like no time had gone by. Of course we did have much to catch up on, and we had a delightful time doing so.

Red River Beach, East Harwich, MA
Via plane, then bus, I made my way to Boston and onward to Cape Cod (where I'd not been since college days) to visit with another NYC buddy I'd not seen in 14 years. And, it was the first time I'd been back in New England in far more many moons. Boy, the years really do whiz by, don't they? We dined at fine restaurants, her fashionista sister took me clothes shopping, and we walked the beach on the only sunny day that was to be. I even got to a yoga class and joined in a meditation and discussion meeting, experiencing a bit of the kind of life my friend now enjoys in retirement. All in all, I had a grand time being with folks who are truly my family (loving and supportive) -- and being near water for a solid week!

Despite logging so many miles in such a brief time, and considering it took me 15 hours to eventually get to Phoenix from The Cape (arriving home at 3:30 am Phoenix time), it was the most relaxing trip I've had in close to two decades! I quickly figured out why: in past years when I traveled, I was in my own business doing some sort of work while on "vacation" or I was a consultant whose last contract had ended and I was searching for a new one while on "vacation." In either case, I couldn't just chill out totally. However, this time around was different: I am working a contract that still has 6 months' left and so I was able to let go, be present, and go with the flow despite packing a lot into a little bit of time. No doubt having had some inner profound shifts recently contributed to this new experience too. I relaxed and was rejuvenated as a vacation is supposed to do.

Definitions of "vacation" as per include:
  • "a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday"
  • "freedom or release from duty, business, or activity."
Yes, I enjoyed freedom from my usual life. There is a whole world out there, and it was gratifying to be experiencing it once again and charging up the soul batteries in the meanwhile. It was a really important learning for me to take time away from the usual life I lead no matter how much I might enjoy it, no matter that since I work a contract "No work, no pay."

As it always turns out to be the case, relationships were the most important part of this travel adventure. And as is also the case, there is a blessing in every situation: although the initial reason for this trip was to say good-bye to my friend, I got to meet other loved ones, visit friends from NYC days, be near water, be nourished emotionally and spiritually, and more. I am so grateful.

Since summer is traditionally a time of vacationing, what have you got planned to replenish your soul?


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Inspiration and Contemplation

"T he best way to show my gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy."

- Mother Teresa
God Goes on Vacation

Here is a fun, short article about spiritual teachers who experienced God's protection when they did not plan ahead before going on vacation.

People Helping People
Helping and Uniting Local Communities One Lawn at a Time   
A few years ago, when an elderly man was spotted struggling to mow his lawn, two complete strangers rushed to his assistance, making for a beautiful act of kindness. Rodney Smith, Jr., then a senior at Alabama A&M University, didn't stop there. He eventually founded an organization that helps folks including veterans, the elderly, the disabled, and even single mothers who are unable to mow their lawns, shovel snow, etc. But in addition, the organization serves as a platform where the younger members of the community can give back to the community and are able to experience a great sense of achievement while also developing their social skills and lawn care experience.
The mission of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, is to unite the community that is present in each local area by providing an inspirational program that focuses on channeling the energy that youths have in a positive way as well as helping those who need it the most.

Read more about this young man, originally from Bermuda, who recently completed a masters in social work, and never liked mowing lawns when he was younger!

Happy Summer Solstice!
Wishing you a Happy July 4th, Independence Day on the outward plane in recognition of the United States of America.  
May you always feel free inwardly regardless of outside circumstances. 
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