Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tick tock......

The universe doesn’t work on your time, but it does work on your behalf.
- Spirit Junkie

I am of the believe that the lessons I need to learn continue to present themselves (in various forms) until I am ready/willing/capable of learning them. While willingness may be a critical component of long term change, sometimes no matter how willing I am, the lesson just doesn't get through my thick skull! I'm a smart cookie, so this tends to be incredibly frustrating.

In times like these, I pray for the remedial version of whatever lesson is present in my life....just give me the Big, Clear, Picture. No symbolism, no metaphor..just give it to me in BOLD PRINT.

So today, I got a beautiful message in the form of a quote from one of my FAVORITE spiritual teachers: Gabrielle Bernstein. You may remember that I raved about her latest book, May Cause Miracles, earlier this year. As it happens, I just started doing the 40 day challenge again this week with my spiritual partner in crime, E. Today marks Day 3 and today's affirmation states: Love did not create this.

Now, I don't believe in coincidences, so I was especially struck by the quote...and the timing of it appearing on my radar.

The way I see it, this is a gentle reminder from my HP/Divine Spirit/the Universe that everything is working according to plan, even if it's not on my schedule!
If I stop and take a moment, I realize that there have been loads of times when I couldn't see the Big Picture, but things were going along in exactly the way they were meant to was easy to see the  pattern in hindsight, but in the moment, none of it made sense.

Bottom line: I am and have ALWAYS been taken care of. The Universe has my back. Any interference from me (i.e. me trying to "take control"...ha, ha, ha!) just puts a monkey wrench in the situation! I need to stop going against the current. I need to trust that everything will work out exactly the way it's supposed to....and get out of the way!

My job is to do the footwork; I am not in charge of anything.
My job is to choose love...always!
And when I am in fear, choose again.

Monday, May 27, 2013

For the Vets

 "...saying Happy Memorial Day to a veteran is like saying have a good time at a funeral."~~~M.A.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the men & women who have bravely served our country. It is not a 3 day weekend or a good excuse for a BBQ or the unofficial beginning of the summer season.

I often forget that.

It's interesting to reflect on how the original meaning of this (and other) holiday(s) has evolved into something completely different.
Now, I am not getting up on a soapbox; I need reminders just like everyone else.
The quote which opens today's blog was posted on the FB page of a guy I know. He's a vet and I was deeply struck by his post. I never thought about how this holiday must feel to the vets who served, lost friends, and are forever changed by their experiences in the field.
I cannot even begin to imagine....

So on this day of remembrance, I wanted to take a moment to say

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

La Dolce Vita


My favorite place on the none.

I returned from my first solo trip last week...8 days in Italy: 4 in Florence (first time!) and 4 in Rome.
It was an amazing experience, not without its share of surprises.
I learned some things about myself, which is the unexpected bonus of traveling alone, I guess.

* I didn't expect the moments of loneliness, as I am used to spending my days off alone, following my own agenda. But I got through them, & learned to accept the feelings and not let them spoil my trip.

* I didn't expect the relief I would feel by honoring my decision NOT to wait in the ridiculously long line to go into the Duomo, simply because I didn't want to wait in the ridiculously long line! 
I decided to eat some gelato instead.
The Duomo will be there when I return, and maybe the line will be a little shorter next time.

* I didn't expect how giddy I would feel when I rediscovered the hotel that I stayed in the first time I was in Rome. It was like coming home...even though I chose to stay someplace else on this trip, I was so happy to reconnect with the neighborhood that I recognized.

* I didn't expect how decadent a bowl of pasta could taste...but I sure learned that it could! The farfalle with carciofi (artichokes) and guanciale (pork cheeks) knocked me on my a**!!! It was THAT good! 
Go to Ristorante Bruno alla Lungaretta next time you're in Trastevere!!! Say hi to Signore Bruno for me! :-)

* I didn't expect the sense of awe I would feel in Casa Buonarotti in Florence. I swear, Michelangelo was there in the room with me!

* I didn't expect to be so moved by seeing Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith painting, in person at the Uffizi. Speechless. She's pretty amazing. Google her.

* I didn't expect to find a fragrance that spoke to my soul...literally! But I did. At Aqua Flor in Florence. Thank you Kate, for taking the time to share your passion for the elegant fragrances that your husband creates in your beautiful atelier.
I LOVE Derwish, and have worn it EVERY day since I bought it. You were DID speak to me!

I'm still processing all the details & memories of my trip. It's some ways, I can't believe I'm back in Chicago, but in others, the trip feels like a dream. 

I'm sure I will have more things to share in upcoming get ready!

Ci vediamo presto!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


“Be happy now, without reason - or you never will be at all.”
― Dan Millman

It's here!!
It's here!!!

I feel like a little kid waking up on Christmas morning before going to see what Santa left under the tree. I have been anticipating this day for several months...
and the day is HERE!!!!!

I leave for Italy this afternoon!!!

This is the very special trip for me. I feel like I have gone through a growth spurt in the last few months...AFGO. 
*another f----ing growth opportunity, for those unfamiliar with that acronym*

I am happy to say that I feel the shift that has occurred and can honestly say that I have (for today) learned to surrender people. places, & things beyond my control. 
***and isn't it ALL outside our control, when you really get honest about it??

I feel like a weight has been lifted and I feel like I can breathe.
I am different than I was before this process. I feel more grounded in my body and spirit.

I had faith that I would be taken care of (always have been!) and I believed that things would get better (they always do!)

How funny it is that I forget that when I'm deep in the messy part of transformational change....every single time.
Thankfully, transformational change is not contingent on me remembering how the process evolves. All I need to do is show up & do the next right thing. All I need to do is have faith and let go.

So today, as I board the plane this afternoon, I will do so as a new person...different than the woman who booked the trip late last year.
I feel reborn!

I feel HAPPY!

I welcome this experience with open arms, excited to discover what this trip has in store for me.

I know that when I board the plane to come back to Chicago , I will do so as a different woman than I am today.
I'm excited about that!

I'm excited to discover who I am, on my own, in Italy.
I'm uncovering a new part of myself on this trip.

I'm looking forward to meeting her.

I think we're going to be great friends!!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

What dreams may come.....

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

The countdown has officially begun!
I am flying to Italy (via Dusseldorf)on Sunday. The trip I started planning late last year is almost here...FINALLY!

Although I have been fortunate to travel to Italy several times in the last few years, this trip is different.

1. It's my first solo trip...ever.

2. Aside from reserving tickets for the Uffizi and Vatican museums, I have NO set plans. Italy is going to speak to me...she's going to guide me by the hand, show me her secrets, and steal my heart.

3.There is a "feeling" about this trip...and I'm not the only one who has it. Several people, who know me well, have told me that this will be a special, perhaps life changing trip. 

I have no expectations about this trip.
I KNOW I will be eating an obscene amount of gelato and drinking an equally obscene amount of espresso.
I KNOW I will spend a decadent amount of time in various churches & museums in both cities.
I BELIEVE I will return to Chicago as a different person.

I am excited to see what Italy has in store for me.
I am excited to see what I learn about myself on this trip.
I am excited to see what life has in store for me....

One thing I have learned from this experience thus far just never know.

Last year, I declared out loud, to myself, that I needed to go back to Italy. Not running away from the drama of recent events, but towards the next phase of my life.

I set my intention, without realizing it.

Even before I start packing, I can appreciate how much of a learning experience this has been up until this point.

I have learned to honor myself and my dreams.
I have learned to say a BIG, FAT, YES to my life.
I have learned that nothing is impossible when you want it badly enough and are willing to do the work.
I also learned that it doesn't need to be that hard.

So, I am crossing the last few "to-do's" off my list, getting ready to pack, and get my tush in that seat by take off time on Sunday afternoon.
Then I'm going to settle in, watch a few movies, read a little, nap a little, and wake up the next day in Italia!!

Ci vediamo presto!