As 2013 draws to a close, I’m reflecting on all that it was and all that it wasn’t, and then put it behind me. It was a memorable year of making some dreams come true and also embodied difficult challenges both physical and emotional. There were triumphs and lessons and wins and losses. I published my first article in a print magazine and sold photos overseas and here at home. My private investigation cases had some very interesting moments. I made some new friends, rekindled an old friendship and I learned more about what I am capable of. I pushed my own boundaries to build a tiny cabin by myself using solar energy while communing with nature for several months.
I learned that I could frame a door and window and chop down trees, and that a full swing with a hammer on a finger hurts like there's no tomorrow. I learned that no tarp could keep out the rain and snow. I did things I thought would be impossible to accomplish and that still feels amazing!
It's rare to be far enough away from humans to experience true silence, (it can paradoxically sound 'loud'), but I’ve been fortunate and have spent long periods mostly only hearing the sounds of nature and nothing man-made. It's a beautiful thing, and for me, as necessary to my survival as water and air. I find it regenerates my weary soul in so many ways. It also renews the kind of hope I need to wake up feeling inspired and able to embrace all that the universe will reveal to me each day.
All in all, it was a good year.
I don’t know what 2014 has in store, but changes are coming. The good thing is that the gypsy spirit in me thrives on change. Some changes are of my own making, while other changes are being dealt by life. Simply put, I’m in transition.
While "letting go" has been as much a part of my life as breathing, this year will see it reaching new levels. I’m also moving toward less judgment, more acceptance, more meditation, and more living in the moment. I know it sounds cliché and possibly all fluff, but being more fully present has huge health benefits in body, mind and spirit. I worry less, am less depressed, more optimistic, less stressed, and better able to feel the beauty in this world. There’s so much beauty when you slow down and take notice.
I want to focus on the good that’s out there in the coming year, and less about all that is wrong. I also want to focus on the love in my heart. I love my friends – virtual included – and adore my furry and human family.
I learned a long time ago to be kind to myself. As an artist that’s especially important, because if you fail to love yourself, and to believe in yourself, creativity has little chance of thriving. In a world where few understand how to be alone and happy at the same time, I am in the small minority who loves my own company. Being alone is not a lonely thing at all. I love my passions. I even like more about growing old than I dislike about it. With age has come more inner peace, calmness and confidence. I no longer wonder who I am or what I want out of life, or what I want to be when I grow up. I don’t feel confused about my path or why I’m here. I’ll be spending much less time on Facebook. I’ve even thought about giving up the online world altogether for an entire year, but I love to research, write and read so much, that I don’t think it’s the time. Balance is the key and I need more of that.
So, goodbye 2013 – you were a helluva ride -- and hello 2014. I welcome you with open arms.
To peace, health, light and happiness.
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to throw dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was stunned. The donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off.
Life is going to shovel dirt on you; all kinds of dirt. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping and never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
I'm an artist, writer, photographer, private investigator and an activist in small ways.
"Turning indifference into making a difference."
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I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS helps people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare.
Read about life in the woods with Chippy & the crew...