Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

And all that is gold does not glitter. Sit back and relax while I regale you with the ongoing tale of a Gypsy Wanderer from an intimate perspective.


Most people living “normal” lives cannot fathom the life I have been living since 2009. Personally, I don’t know how many years previous were preparing me for such either – perhaps since birth. Normal people, in this context, are those who subscribe to beliefs such as: You have to work hard at a job to have the things you want. Hard work is necessary to achieve or be deserving of just about anything. You have to have a secure job to ensure you will have enough for retirement. One must have savings, provisions, insurance etc. for a “rainy day”.

Not a typical being, I have lived outside the “normal” paradigm for quite a while now…..time pretty much blending one year to the next. This has led to extraordinarily amazing happenings and some, not so thrilling, quite interesting situations. People have chided me for soliciting contributions. This was in regard to my general open request via my blog, not even asking them personally. Some individuals, who I considered close friends and thought we understood each other, have even asked me to stop communicating with them. On a kinder note, people have offered me regular jobs as well as assistance in getting a “JOB”.

These wonderful, well-meaning humans, have no comprehension of my journey and mission right now. Heck, I have difficulty understanding it myself periodically. As far as those people go, I bless them for their thoughtful intentions. If they wish to hold to those age old beliefs, far be it from me to try to shift their opinions. It is their prerogative to believe what they want and feel is appropriate for them. Although they might want to watch The Matrix! (Sorry, couldn’t resist throwing that in.) 


For those who have a clue, you may or may not know what an infinite blessing you are in my life! I cannot thank you enough for all your support via your love, your words, food, money, housing, services and positive energies. In fact, there are times when some of you believe in me more than I do. Yes, I DO have my “moments”. You are all Earth Angels both to me and all you touch by way of your far reaching ripple effect. You are, indeed, part of the Heaven on Earth Construction Team!


As far as my wanderings, it is true I don’t know much about my future and where it may take me. However, I regularly follow the signs indicating which direction to go or, often, which road not to travel. It is my joy and delight to share the gifts only I can impart to those open to receive along the way. Whilst involved in those bright endeavors, I feel so magically in my element! It is a high only known by those following their true path (not necessarily the one others say they “should” be on). Much continues to be a mystery for me but I always know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, my very next appropriate step. This is due to a conscious choice, made many years ago, to live in the present moment. Although not always easy, it is a very empowering place to live in/from.


There’s a saying many align with, “Everything Happens for a Reason!” I used to be extremely pessimistic so that saying then was for me along the lines that everything happens for a reason and that is to mess with me. Having since done a complete 180, when I use the phrase, I always add quietly inside….and is for my highest good and the highest good of all! On occasion I am gifted with the knowing of some of those “reasons” but much of the time not. This is where faith and trust come in! An amazing, wise friend of mine, Annalene Hart wrote a brilliant blog post that describes another place I find myself once in a blue moon….. The Surprising Gift Of Confusion  Can you relate?? However, even a temporary state of confusion does not equate to being “lost”. Numerous are the purposes for my journey that I know but human language fails me in my desire to convey such. Perhaps in the future, I will discover a way…..if it is for the highest good of all.

For now I encourage you to think about your personal journey in this very moment. Are you living your truth, whether or not you can clearly explain it to another? Are you allowing others’ opinions to influence your journey in ways that aren’t in alignment with your own heart? Are you doing things a certain way solely because that’s the way they’ve always been done? Is there some small step you can take today that would put you more in unity with your heart’s purpose?


I am not suggesting anyone live logistically as I am at all. Different strokes for different folks. I simply wish to be a mirror for you living your truth. There are many ways of living outside the mainstream “automatic” – Check out Money - Not the Only Currency & Freeworlder. Whether you choose to live more “normal” or off the beaten path, please remember to always live in integrity…..always be true to yourself! Namaste ~

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Warm Holidays

One of the memorable gifts I am infinitely grateful for this season is warmth! 80 some degree days? Oh yeah! It makes such a tremendous difference in my life when I am in a climate that supports and revitalizes me. At the same time, it thrills me to hear about others enjoying their snowy and more “winter appropriate” weather. Different strokes for different folks or we’d all be crowded in the exact same place at the same time. I wish for everyone to have the lives of their brightest desires as the energy of their joy emanates around the planet.

You may recall from my post Hola and Adios, August found me in Mexico as a Travel Companion. I anticipated that trip to extend possibly to Mexico, Belize, Panama and Costa Rica for weeks, possibly even months. Just a day prior to departure for that trip, a friend in Florida called requesting my assistance with house/pet-sitting. Appreciative I was asked, I had to turn the opportunity down having already made the Travel Companion commitment. When things started going south in Mexico, pun intended, I emailed to see if there was still a need in Florida. The response was affirmative. Thankfully, the gentleman I was accompanying in Mexico kept his agreement of flying me back to my airport of origin - in this case LAX. Spent a couple days embracing family, unpacking and repacking for the next adventure. 42 hours after departure from California, I arrived at my Florida destination (huge thanks, in part, to my generous car angels – my Parents!)

With my furry charge, I enjoyed numerous walks in nature. Saw snakes, bunnies, squirrels, hawks, turtles, alligators……many of them pretty up close and personal. An ever-changing canvas, the sky always presented clouds in infinite expressions that brought me delight. Greenery everywhere was punctuated by varieties of colorful flowers, fruit and trees draped in enchanting Spanish Moss.


In Florida, I was invited to teach classes at Beyond Wishes, a wellness and rejuvenation oasis right near my beach in Nokomis. Abby Krause, co-owner of the center with her artist husband Tom Krause, is an upbeat vivacious fairy-like being with an infectious smile. It was an honor and joy to accept. Moving Meditation delivered an eclectic blend of yoga, Pilates, Alexander, Feldenkrais and my own intuitive flair. Like a chameleon, this class morphed into whatever was needed for my unique students present each day. If you are ever in the area, treat yourself to a visit to Beyond Wishes. Get pampered with one of their numerous offerings….a facial, reiki treatment, massage or a breath enhancing experience in the salt bed.  At the very least, browse their collection of wellness care products….skin care, essential oils, candles, jewelry, books and more. Enjoy the marine life art of Tom Krause….of course the dolphin and turtle ones are my favs.


I’ve wanted to attend Michelle Walling and Greg Prescott’s In5d conference for the past 5 years or so. Either I wasn’t in the right physical location or I didn’t have the money to attend. This year I was in the “right” place. While I still didn’t have the money, I had a credit card and trusted this was the appropriate choice. It was a pleasure finally meeting and hugging them in person as all previous communication had been electronic. Through a series of synchronistic signs, I also made a powerful connection with  PamelaAaralyn. This Spiritual Alchemist began seeing auras, energy and visions at the age of 5. Miraculously, I ended up on a pontoon boat day trip with her and a few other bright people on the gorgeous nearby intercoastal. After a lovely lunch at Dry Dock, I experienced an insightful private reading with Pamela onboard the boat in that idyllic setting…..


Due to life happening as it does, I am not able to keep up with my networking or being aware of all the opportunities/happenings around me. I simply trust I will meet those I am “supposed” to connect with and get whatever info is appropriate for me. Such clearly happens frequently for me. Of note was a fb friend posting about his company, Dragonfly Expeditions. I am guessing I originally connected with Charles in my previous research for the Bahamas. Knowing he is also affiliated with other travel enterprises, Tropic Moon Media, Margaritaville Adventures and Windjammer Sailing Adventures, I was guided to contact him to see if there was any way we might be able to benefit each other in the future. He responded quickly to my message saying they could always use “guides” and to call him after Thanksgiving. Calling the day after, I was amazed that he actually answered the phone. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I shared with him my quest for a tropical place that I “see” in my dreams and visions – a place I am not even sure if exists on this planet (Baring My Soul and Planting a Dream). Continuing I told him any endeavor that brings me closer in my search, and that also honors all involved, interests me which is why I contacted him. Instead of blowing my story off, Charles asked me for details of this place. A well-traveled man himself, he started coming up with a few location possibilities.  Long story short, my arriving in Coral Gables to meet with him was full of wild synchronicities….perhaps a story for another day if it ends up going further. Not only did my adventure include meeting him at the Biltmore Hotel, I was invited to participate in a tour he was giving that day on Key Biscayne. I experienced so many incredible sights and learnings in a few short hours as Charles is somewhat of a charming walking encyclopedia.



I was privileged to have opportunities to attend numerous Holiday Celebrations. Again, thanks flowing to all who helped facilitate... The spirit of peace and joy warmed my heart and body this season helping to prepare for a bright New Year!





My commission over, the journey continues…….Thanks for accompanying me!!


P.S. Here are a couple funnies I shared on fb to provide a smile or two:



Thursday, November 10, 2016

WORKAWAY - Not So Ethical?

Since I have recommended workaway.info many times in the past to an unknown number of people, I feel it appropriate to follow up. Knowing what I now know about the organization, I recant my recommendations and provide disclosure of disappointing practices.


A reminder to my ever faithful family and my new readers – as I know I am welcoming a few here…..I did not join workaway due to wanderlust or a passion for travel. It was to assist me on my quest to finding my place as you can read, or refresh your memory, in Baring My Soul and Planting A Dream.

Initially discovering this travel trade website in 2014, I was so excited and promptly shelled out the money for my membership. What I learned along the way is:
·        Hosts pay no membership….just the volunteers.
·        A greater percentage of hosts I personally contacted don’t respond.
·        Less than stellar feedback (by paying volunteers) is removed – basically false advertising. Obviously this site is geared toward accommodating hosts so workaway will have a product, albeit not always honestly portrayed, to sell volunteers.
·       Workaway implies situations have, for the most part, 5 hours work, 5 days per week in exchange for food and accommodations. That scenario is actually pretty rare at least with the hundreds of profiles I looked into (unless you also include a space to set up your own tent or paying extra for meals or having a space to prepare your meals).
·        Workaway monitors private messages too in spite of their denial….I have correspondence to back that up but don’t wish to spend any more energy there.

Here is the feedback that I gave for the first place, and ONLY place via workaway, I experienced.
(See: If I'd Have KnownReally......the Desert?!) Through the grapevine I heard that even the owner agreed it was truthful. This feedback was subsequently removed by workaway. It makes reference to the description of the place that was posted at the time and what I actually encountered. Note: I was being kind.

[09/02/2015]

I spent almost a month here. Just a heads up that it isn’t quite a Hotel/Resort and Restaurant in the usual sense. It is more of a backpacker’s hostel. There is a dining hall and kitchen to prepare your own food but not a restaurant that has food and you can get meals prepared for you. A group of young people live there and like to chill. They are great about cutting down coconuts, when available. Nothing like drinking fresh coconut water right out of the coconut! So if you are looking for something more laid back, this might be the place for you. You need to be prepared for all situations like often no water much less hot. You also must like the company of a pack of untrained dogs following you wherever you go….yes, that includes the kitchen. There is much that needs to be done around so you will have no trouble finding ways to help out and can probably choose the jobs you prefer. The facility sits on a beautiful beach backed by desert-like terrain. The beach is constantly littered with trash so Mother Nature would love it if you assisted in the trash collection helping uplift the Planet. It is about an hour drive south of the city of Manta and about ½ hour north of Puerto Lopez. You can easily catch an inexpensive bus right on the road to either location and more if you’d like to do a little sightseeing or shopping.

I must add that I stayed in Nov 2014 and haven't had a chance to post this earlier so things appear to have changed. I know they changed their description after I left a review on another site back in Dec.
Left by Workawayer for host

(Neutral)

Knowing everything happens for a positive reason, I thankfully see many gifts resulting from being involved with workaway. If I hadn’t joined, I wouldn’t have met a number of wonderful folks – many of whom have since become dear friends.
Mary was one of the first that I made a magical connection with…..no surprise….on the beach! She shares an inspiring blog about her adventures and life as an expat in Ecuador. Mary, in turn, assisted me in making the synchronistic partnership with Hosteria Nantu including Andrea, Mauritz and what quickly became my Nantu Family.  At that time I assisted in getting Hosteria Nantu listed on workaway. Here are the reviews we posted for each other:

(Excellent)
[09/02/2015]

Words aren’t adequate to express my gratitude and happiness regarding my 2 month stay. Andrea and Mauritz were gracious hosts indeed. They and the staff quickly felt like family to me as we worked together….sometimes a little humorously due to my limited Spanish skills. It was an honor leading so many guests in daily morning yoga too. Between my hosts, the staff and a number of special guests, dozens more have been added to my heart for life. It was a real treat living and working right across from the beach. I got a chance to see all the different rooms in the hosteria. The reason this is significant as they are all artfully designed and decorated in their own unique manner. If you get a chance to volunteer here, between the hosts and the tranquil area, it will be an opportunity you remember fondly on for a long time to come!

Left by Workawayer for host

(Excellent)
Michelle
[08/04/2015]

We still miss this lady. She changes our life and the way to see things around. We really appreciate all she did around our hosteria, we still have people coming to look for our yoga classes and massages, I highly recommend Michelle as a worker, friend and person. Thanks a lot for all you did for Us. Everyone here keep talking about how great you were. You will always be part of our family, doors will always be open for you Michelle.
Left by host for Workawayer

Tessa and Alie frequented my poolside yoga class. Thanks to fb and their blog Happy Goats, we are able to stay in touch. Manuela from Italy, another beautiful yoga regular, co-owned restaurant Paella Mar in Puerto Lopez with her partner Toni from Spain. Loved their crème brulee! One more of my yogini friends is sweet Nadia. She shared my gypsy spirit and was on her own quest. Her time to move on came before mine and she gifted me with a beautiful handbag that she lovingly made for me herself. It was perfect for my needs (ok wants) at the time. Of course, I must express immense gratitude for my experiences with my furry, feathered and water friends - dogs, seals, seabirds, turtles and seahorses! 

During my research I came across a significant number of others who had similar, unsatisfactory findings and less desirable encounters through workaway. Will not go into any more detail so as not to immerse in the negative. Just backing up my own findings to save others unpleasant situations in the future.

Bringing the focus back to the bright side…..I am still open to that magical tropical location being shown to me in my night dreams and day visions. In the meantime, I continue Putting It Out To The Universe.... Please share ANY and ALL leads that may come to you regarding where on earth this Paradise might be or ways that I may discover such! Perhaps YOU would like to Personally participate with me in finding this Tropical Retreat?! It would be a powerful way of being the change we wish to see in this world…….Just Sayin’ ;-)

Thank you all for being such Bright Lights in my life!

P.S. If you'd like to read my description for workaway, sans the fill in boxes, email me at info@universalwellness.us and let me know.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hola And Adios

One of the most challenging aspects about my current chosen lifestyle is saying good-bye. Good-bye to people, places, experiences…. Definitely an effective way of learning detachment though.

Again I am at a loss for adequate words to express how incredibly grateful I am for the months I was privileged to serve a dear Soul Sister.
It was one of those situations clearly “meant to be” as my life changed on a dime in a direction neither of us anticipated before we met for re-connection Jamba Juice. We’d known each other 20? years as friends having done business together in the past as well. Acting as her personal assistant was a pleasure on so many levels. She, in turn, hosted me like royalty. How infinitely refreshing when people truly recognize and appreciate each other! Our time together was the living embodiment of NAMASTÉ. For those not familiar with that ancient Sanskrit greeting, it translates to the effect, “The God in Me honors the God in You”.  Together, over the months, we shared many smiles and tears, challenges and cheers.
I would have loved to stay with Her for much longer but my beach somewhere was calling. Due to the surrounding area and climate, I felt like a mermaid out of water. It was a sense that was constantly present which I needed to be vigilant to overcome to stay in positive energy. Hence, another bittersweet farewell when the next opportunity for tropical travel presented itself.

Time planning and talking about my trip to Mexico, Belize, Panama and Costa Rica lasted longer than the actual expedition. The person I was to accompany was not ready for a strong woman who could hold her own with street smarts in some Latin American countries. He wanted someone to hang out with, eat and drink together. This is not the picture that was painted for me when I answered the ad on Craigslist for a travel companion posted by his “sister”. Many very peculiar and entertaining conversations later via email and phone, I suspected something was awry. She either didn’t grasp what I was repeating over and over or only heard what she wanted. Obvious her international travel experience was strictly from reading and fantasy - not based in practicality whatsoever. At first I tried to only see everything in the brightest light figuring all actions taken where intended for her “brother’s” well-being. Then I saw her web of deceit, ignorance and manipulation was such that this Butterfly wanted nothing to do with it. I kept brushing it off thinking I’d be traveling with him, who I got a very different sense from, not her. When I flew to San Francisco to meet them a few days before departure for Mexico, it was evident how much I could assist the gentleman as there were so many important areas of travel not being addressed. To my amazement things were still being presented which had no basis in real life actuality. Realization that the gal who placed the ad was not really his sister became blaringly obvious to me (especially at the point she told me to tell people I was his sister) although I let her keep up the charade until the end. Now don’t get me wrong! While I have my own cherished, one of a kind Sister and Brother, there are many times I have referred to other members of this vast human family as brothers and sisters – like in the beginning of this post. Usually this is a relationship like SeaStar, Sistar, Dolphin Sister, Fairy Sister, Soul Sister…you get the spirit.  This was definitely not the intention here. Anyway, I figured once the gentleman and I got to Mexico, I would be able to share my expertise and all the extraneous wishful thinking preparations would simply fall to the wayside.

With one incident after another happening due to choices made from the beginning of the trip – or specific necessary actions not taken – it became clear to me this arrangement wasn’t working. The very talents I was supposedly brought on for were not appreciated, wanted or heeded. My staying not only wasn’t assisting him but had me in some less than desirable situations as well. I probably have the pretty awful experience I lived in the beginning of this year http://universal-wellness.blogspot.com/2016/04/have-courage-and-be-kind.html to thank for the fact I was able to discontinue this unhealthy arrangement very quickly.





Thanks to my ever-present legion of Angels, I was generously provided for and safely guided to my next sunshiny destination. I appreciate each and every one of you and delight in the journey we chose to make together! NAMASTÉ