Manifesting Success

I am pleased to say that I’ve found a healthy love for London as long as it is in small doses 🙂 London is vigorous and unrelenting. Whether it’s by car, train or bus, I always find it challenging to navigate the endless bustling city streets. Slow, fast, noisy, everyone is in constant motion. It’s like committing to drive on the interstate/ motorways. I don’t want to merge among the masses unless I have a clear understanding of where I want to go. This is how I feel about leaving my place of residence while I am in London. Like most people here, I am a huge proponent of the train system/Underground. It’s pretty easy to navigate and I’m very grateful for only having to carry one card to use all forms of public transportation. Most of the people I’ve encountered are nice and polite when I am asking them a question. However there is a chilling reticence among most of the travelers. This is not unlike other large cities I have traveled. Most people do not even look at each other even if their bodies are making physical contact. It’s not often words are exchanged and when they are other passengers quietly observe the intrusion. It is a busy and possibly exhausting dominion. I am very happy to have staying with my friend Dianna for the past five days. I have enjoyed myself immensely and much more than I did during my previous stay in November. It’s so satisfying to feel the warmth and familiarity with visiting a friend. I met Dianna in Boulder. She is a long-time Buddhist who was taking a course at The Boulder Shambala Center. She was renting a room in the same home as I was at the time. I only spent a couple weeks with Dianna, but I felt a connection with her and was thrilled to further deepen it during my journey. The last five days I was between housesits so this proved ample time to do just that. Dianna and I have made the most out of the week. We joined a meditation class at the London Shambala Center, listened to an amazing performance of Mozart Requiem and toured a fascinating art exhibit by Bill Viola. Not to mention all the wonderful meals and rich conversations that have been had.

I am grateful to have such wonderful experiences and a reprieve from housesitting. I also want to mention a couple of incidences that I created during my stay in London. The first was finally securing a UK bank account. I have been trying to achieve this since I purchased my car in mid-December. Here in the UK, they have recently cracked down on fraud and money laundering. Apparently, they had about 65 billion pounds between 2010-2014 that was moved out of Russia to the United Kingdom. Since I am housesitting and don’t have a permanent residence, this has been quite a difficult challenge for me to obtain a simple checking account. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been studying Neville Goddard and decided to apply a technique of his to enable me to achieve a UK bank account. The night before my appointment with Barclays I began a visualization exercise during SATS (state akin to sleep). This is when the body isn’t asleep, but almost. Sort of like a deep consciousness. I replayed the 5 second scene of me feeling happy and giving my cash to the bank teller. I tried to encompass all of my senses. The noise of talking, typing, and ambient noise. I visualized the man smiling as he took my notes for my deposit and our fingers brushed briefly. I concentrated on the feeling. I felt happy and relieved that I finally succeeding in procuring a UK bank account. The next day, I arrived at the bank for my appointment and the man was very nice but told me he couldn’t use my bank accounts from the US because they do not include account numbers on the statements. I thought I would have been upset or disappointed, but only felt confusion. I couldn’t understand why I was being rejected when I saw very clearly that I “already had” this account I was seeking. I walked back to Dianna’s and told her about my appointment. She immediately said, “Hang on, let me call my friend a second. I think I can help.” Dianna came back into the living room with a big smile on her face and told me about a conversation she had about two years ago. She was talking to her friend’s husband about a new online banking company he was developing with his partner. This bank’s purpose was to allow expatriates and immigrants the ability to have a bank account that was based in the United Kingdom! I looked it up, it’s called Monese and does exactly that. It is still insured since the physical money is handled by one of the High Banks (big banks). I did a bit of research myself and then was able to setup an account via video chat in about 10 minutes. Wow! I then went to the nearest post office to deposit my cash. I was and currently am so happy this worked out. All because I happened to mention this to Dianna, who happened to remember a lengthy conversation she had two years ago. She even said at the time she asked questions that his own family didn’t know and they were interested as well. It turned into a long discussion. I can’t make this stuff up! In the meantime, I am so very happy to have a place to put my money. If there is anyone out there that would like more information about Monese please contact me via PM.

This manifestation would have been enough, but my second one was even bigger for me. I had to leave London and arrive at my next housesit in Hampshire around 12pm/midday. As I was beginning to pack my car after saying goodbye to Dianna, suddenly my car key wasn’t working. I tried hitting the “unlock” button, but nothing was happening. I manually unlocked the door with the key and suddenly the alarm/horn started blaring on the busy street! Shit!! I couldn’t drive. I had just replaced the battery on the key fob and for some reason it wasn’t working now. Immediately, I felt the panic and dread coming into my awareness. But this time it was different. I mentally said, “NO!” I wasn’t going down that path, I know where that leads me. It is not going to help my situation. I was going to figure this out and everything was going to be okay. I went back into Dianna’s house and also told her, that it will all work out just fine, even though she could comprehend this was a big deal for me in the present. We looked for about 2 hours for my extra key. I combed through all of my suitcases, bags, pockets and Dianna helped me as well. All I could remember was that I used a zipper to secure the extra car key. She eventually had to leave to go visit a friend, but she gave me some sound advice before she left. “Just relax.” I remember thinking, she was right. But I didn’t have time for that. I needed to figure this out so that I could drive to the family that was already awaiting my arrival. I called several lock smiths and they either didn’t call me back or told me they probably wouldn’t be able to help me. I watched videos and tried to reprogram the fob to the car over and over and over. But it didn’t help, I still wasn’t able to drive. I searched online ad nauseam about reprogramming car fobs for a Hyundai Coupe. The sites were mentioning that this was a common issue with this type car whenever the battery is changed. Often they need to install an entirely new locking system. Sheesh! It has now been almost 3 hours. Still at square one. I finally took the advice and just sat still. I meditated for 10 minutes. This was incredibly difficult, but I was successful and able to completely let it go. After the 10 minutes, I visualized myself walking out to my car and unzipping something and finding my key. Then I would start my car and drive away. I really honed in on the feeling of celebration. I did this scene over and over until it felt very real. I opened my eyes and immediately felt better. Because I had my extra key. It was within my possession at that very moment. I even smiled as I went out to my car. I randomly decided to feel under the passenger seat, nothing. I walked over and did the same to the drivers seat and there I felt the sunglasses case that unzipped and revealed my extra car key. This feeling I had when I saw this key was a combination of celebration, jubilance and disbelief. It was phenomenal. I suddenly felt incredibly powerful!! I shoved the key into the ignition and it started right up. It’s like that moment in a movie where Hallelujah starts playing. This was happening to me! I know some of you might be thinking, “big deal, you found your key,” or “of course you found them when you stopped running around.” You’re right! The only way we are able to evolve is to change our thoughts. This was the first time in my life, I didn’t fall apart during a crisis. I could feel the emotions, but only for a second and was successfully able to let them go and feel into the awareness of knowing I had the keys in my possession. Right then and there I changed my belief despite searching for the keys for three hours. In that moment after quieting my mind, I knew I had them in my possession, I could feel them in my fingers and felt the familiar bumps with my thumb. I was able to change my thoughts, which of course, changed my belief. A belief is only a thought that we keep thinking. Nothing more. We are truly more powerful than we have the ability to understand. I now feel so empowered to continue my journey. Knowing that I (like everyone else) carry this power. There is no end to what I can achieve or experience. I can have it all.

 

Worthiness

As I mentioned in my last post, self love is the Number One lesson to master within ourselves. No matter what. We all make mistakes, sometimes we are hard on ourselves and may even question our goals and future. This is fine as long as we consistently come back to expressing self compassion and love beyond absolutely anything. Loving myself unconditionally is the main reason I am able to experience an abundance of happiness. Do not ever falter with this lesson. Number Two is to never ever care what other people think. No one else knows your history, your journey, your perspective which is more valuable than any words I could write down. The final lesson, Number Three, is to always express gratitude which I will cover more at a later date. What is currently in my experience are that the first two lessons often go hand-in-hand. Maybe you can relate if you’ve ever listened to a critical/toxic person. When I am faced with this person I have trouble blocking them out. Even if I don’t accept what they say in that moment, I may still carry their words or observation with me. Then later, because of attraction, I am provided with a situation in which these previously false accusations become real within my experience. In the past, when this would happen I would blame myself, thinking, “Oh no, they were right!” then I would begin to question my worthiness. Believe me when I say, without self worth and self compassion, we can’t get anywhere. It’s like a giant Jenga game in that it only can end in collapse. Where if I had not attached myself to their belief to begin with, even subconsciously, then it would not have come into my experience. It would have just died in that moment and forever buried. In a way, disconnecting myself from others’ beliefs and judgements is a great way to practice self love.

As always, the reason this has come up with me is because of an encounter I had just the other day. I am currently in the Lake District in the northern part of England. I am so thrilled and grateful to be here right now to witness the extraordinary landscape. Miles and miles of green hills divided by ancient stone walls giving a glimpse of the fear and turmoil that was alive in earlier times. There are primeval buildings that have been standing for centuries surrounded by a backdrop of snow capped mountains. It’s been a bit cold, 30-40s F with on and off snow and rain. But the spectacular setting more than makes up for it. Also, since I’m about four hours away from London, it’s not very crowded here. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my quiet hikes with Luci, the Spaniel I am looking after. We are right on the edge of Lake District National Park which I’ve visited multiple times. Since I am so close to Scotland, I am able to partake in the very similar scenery and weather. Friday I went on a hiking date in this area. He was a very nice man who was also very knowledgeable about the local environment since he grew up and still lives in nearby York. I had such a good time learning about the history of the Vikings landing here from Norway in search of more fertile land. He also mentioned that it is currently lambing season Feb/March and the female sheep are already pregnant and getting very full bellies. This was good to know to ensure that Luci didn’t try and chase after them. I would hate to cause them even more discomfort as their lives were already quite severe living amongst perpetual winds and frequent rainfall. Luci reminds me more of a border collie than a spaniel. She was in her element dashing up and down the hillsides and into the wet bogs that surrounded us below. There were tree spouts that were recently planted, but in order to grow in such volatile conditions they are encased in plastic tubes attached along wooden poles. This area reminded me of Norway. In fact, the long narrow lakes that fill the park were formed the same way as the glacial melt fjords of the Nordic Country.

I had such a great time learning about the area and it was nice to finally get answers to questions I’ve had ever since I came to England. With driving, hiking, and eventually dinner, my date and I ended up spending the entire day together. We had many similarities as far as authentic creating and I thoroughly enjoyed the spiritual connection. The next day morning he texted me that he was glad to have met me and wished me well on my future journey. I told him I welcomed having a conversation again even just as friends, but to no avail. He wasn’t interested in seeing me again. Huh? As an answer as to why, he wrote that what I am currently doing is extremely difficult and it will likely be a long journey before I can be comfortable. Well, I guess he knows all about my experiences?? I was offended that he just assumed that my life was “extremely difficult.” Not to mention the shock cutting off any future engagements. I get that my current lifestyle is unappealing to some. But I feel like I’m finally figuring it out. It’s hard to imagine how just conversing would affect someone else’s experience. Right away, I began to feel not worthy of anyone’s attention. I suddenly went from courageous world traveler to feeling like a charity case. Fortunately, I am very proud to say this didn’t last long. I quickly realized thinking of myself in this way didn’t feel good and wasn’t loving. I knew that whatever was triggering me in the moment I didn’t fully understand. But the direction my thinking was headed wasn’t helping my current emotional state. So I distracted myself! I got outside again, then starting creating a new face lotion, cranked up the music and sang along. It felt so good to do these other activities. It was all a great way to nurture self love. I have slowly started looking at the situation differently. I am becoming more and more accepting for people to show up with what is available to them and no more. I’m clearing out old, ungratifying friendships and beginning to finally accept people for who they are and not for who I want them to be. If someone shows up for me for a minute, a day or a month, I am grateful for that connection. I’m letting go expectations and arrogations of others. This has been a long time coming and absolutely necessary in order for me to move forward and make successful bonds in the future. Sometimes we just need to surrender and accept where we are regarding another person. We can’t push them into a box as we can’t even begin to understand their experience and purpose. The only thing we can control is how we feel about ourselves. It’s like shedding old skin to be able to let go of tightly held people and beliefs. I’m allowing myself to move forward and keep continuing on my journey. It may look like chaos from the outside, but that doesn’t matter. I know I am headed towards tranquillity even if I can’t display that on the surface. I am so grateful for this date I had and for always looking for opporunities to be more self aware. These lessons are helping me get to understandings more quickly. I am certainly worth that.

Happiness in the Face of Contrast

It’s pretty easy to keep a positive outlook and feel an abundance of happiness when my outside world is reflecting the same. I am overjoyed when I am staying in large comfortable mansions, surrounded by beautiful gardens and warm, supportive people. But what about when I’m not in these positive environments? Of course it is much harder for me to experience joy and bliss. Because I am focused on what is, instead of what could be. Which in turn only creates more of the same. I’ve sort of been stuck in this pattern since leaving Devon. Leaving the sweet dog, Amber who I will always love and miss. My next housesitting assignment had the most gorgeous pictures and I was very optimistic about it. I even did FaceTime with the owner but she only showed me one room of her place. Believe me, it is very difficult to know what I am getting into ahead of time. Many times owners take photos of the outside landscape and structures which are always beautiful. Only later I figure out the barn has been converted into 6 or 7 different homes. Skype and FT help, but it’s still impossible to get the breadth of someone’s home without actually being there in person. Anyway, Chewy and I were happy to go to Dorset for one week before heading to the Lake District. When we arrived, the address was titled “Laundry Cottage.” This should have been a red flag! The home ended up being a very tiny 2-bedroom apartment with only the dusty, clogged fireplace to provide heat in the main rooms. I don’t normally have a problem with a home that is smaller, but I was also sharing the space with a 2 y/o lab, Beetle, who hadn’t been trained much at all and demanded constant attention. My bedroom was upstairs and thankfully had a radiator that came on in the early mornings for a few hours. With the help of hot water bottles I was able to keep Chewy warm for most of the day. But more often than not he was shaking from the cool, crisp air that never left the small home. The thermostat was always between 50-60 deg Fahrenheit. The very cramped kitchen wasn’t very well equipped for cooking nor very clean. The water had some mysterious “minerals” that came out of the tap that I would accidentally crunch down on sometimes when drinking my morning tea. I would have assumed that due to the name of the place, it would have been suitable to do my laundry comfortably. Nope, not at all. The clothes washer didn’t appear to be working properly and there was no dryer, nor any space to lay out clothes to dry. So I held out and waited to clean my clothes until my next assignment. I was also in charge of a mostly feral cat who came in and out as he pleased through the cat door. On the first morning he came in with a large rat. I immediately screamed so he grabbed the poor disembowled animal and flew back out through the flapping door. All I could think of was, “Where the hell am I and how did I get here??”

Fortunately, during my stay here is when I dove into the teachings of Neville Goddard. He was a philosopher from the 1950s who centered around The Law of Attraction and Christianity. Here is where I began learning about how to change my outlook despite what the current environment was providing for me. Neville’s words teach about how we are all apart of God and we all have the ability to live our lives in any direction that we choose. Rich, poor, happy, negative, we have created it all. Most importantly, each of us already possesses the power to change this. His books center around specific techniques and compares passages of the Bible. Neville’s current following is bigger than ever despite his death in the early 70s. In his eyes, the bible never refers to actual physical people like Peter, Luke, John, etc. He saw these names, commandments and stories as a way for us to interpret this main belief. According to Neville, you are God, I am God, we are all God and through imagination and feeling we employ the most potent forms of expressing this Godhood. Neville goes through the bible and provides his translation, for example, the command, “thou shalt not take the name of thy lord in vain.” As a child, I was taught this meant to not say things like, “Goddamnit,” or one of my personal favorites, “Jesus Fucking Christ!” 🙂 But if we are God, then instead this would mean, do not talk against ourselves. Do not speak or think ill of our own self. I’ve said this many times, loving ourselves and experiencing self-compassion is THE most important thing I have learned. Period. Needless to say, Neville’s teachings hit a chord. Some of you that know me are probably thinking, “Why is Jess quoting the Bible?” Truthfully, I was very resistant to Neville’s teachings almost two years ago when I was introduced to him. That resistance was solely because of my judgements on Christianity. It sort of felt like going backwards. But the great thing about Neville’s teachings is you don’t have to be Christian. In fact, he says we need to let go of our prejudices about any and all religions in order to be free. His instructions and teachings are successful without the whole God affect. So if you are like me, just take away the religion and look at the meaning. The Time is Now. Live in the present. Everything I want and desire, I should just assume that I already have it.

“To be conscious of being poor while praying for riches is to be rewarded with that which you are conscious of being, namely, poverty. Prayers to be successful must be claimed and appropriated. Assume the positive consciousness of the thing desired.” Neville Goddard

Neville calls this starting from the end and this, my friends, is what has helped me through the rough moments that are currently within my experience. If I am having a hard time and not happy with my physical surroundings, I just imagine they are different. Harnessing the feeling of having what I want is the catalyst of it showing up in the physical. I get this seems a little delusional, I still have all kinds of mental blocks that I’m in the process of extinguishing. This goes against everything I was ever taught. But just like everything else that is new to me, I can’t judge what I don’t understand. I’m willing to try this out and hone in on the feeling of being in love with a wonderful man that is devoted to me. I am surrounded by friends that accept me no matter what and all the while I can enjoy the financial abundance that is within my power to induce. After all, everything we want is because we believe we will feel better in the having of it. What if we just feel better before we actually, physically have it?

Despite my rough start in Dorset I ended up having a good time. Beetle was a great hiker and I was more than happy to take her out 4-5 miles each day mainly to encourage her to not chew up my things! She was very sweet and the cat, Pudi was also a bit of a hiker as well. He often followed us pretty far along the trail. All in all I am grateful for the experience because I’ve never felt so sure about my future until right now. Once again I am grateful for all that life has given me.

 

 

Sometimes We All Have to Vent

The past few days have really been crummy and I’m having trouble alerting my mindset. Sure, I was ghosted by someone that I cared about. This brought up plenty of emotions and unkind thoughts, most of them were a waste of time. I couldn’t help but think of possible reasons for why Farukh decided to drop me. I noticed on more than one occasion the need to practice self-love since I didn’t like the reasonings I was coming up with. We are always our own worst critic and I’ve learned when thinking about myself in a negative light this only leads to more self deprecation. So I’ve been getting outside and doing yoga. I’m already hooked on the 30 day yoga challenge with Adriene on Youtube. If you were ever thinking about getting into yoga, this is a great way to begin. I’m trying to get over the feeling inferior hump, so I’m hoping that after writing a bit today I will be able purge any negativity I have left, out of my consciousness forever! HA!

Thanks to Farukh, I have a new red flag to be aware of when I begin dating someone. I am absolutely not interested in spending time with someone that is addicted to their phone. It’s much bigger than a person just checking their likes on Instagram. Let me try and explain. Our phones have become our masks. As soon as we glance down at them, we completely tune out to what is happening in the present. It’s the most convenient way to hide oneself in plain sight. Why do we need to be protected? There can be 100 people in a room and if the average person doesn’t have someone to connect with, their default is to view something random on their phone phone that they’re not going to remember after five seconds. It’s like we’re given a free pass to not have to participate in society. However, it doesn’t take much for us to realize that we are the ones that are suffering exponentially. I used to be more active on social media so I get it. It feels good to get a “like” or someone laughs at a post, etc. I also get that it can be easy to be lazy and not get out of my comfort zone. Twenty years ago, we would have had to get up and go talk to one of those 100 people in the room just to pass the time. Imagine, before having an electronic mask at your disposal and your choices at a gathering are to just sit and watch people or assemble enough courage to talk to someone. Maybe you would come up with a clever starter on the spot! Yikes, it was hard. It sometimes would create rejection or odd looks. But the point is, we were practicing relating to one another. I don’t think it would surprise anyone to say social media makes us terrible at developing authentic connections. I believe we all know this. I’ve had this very conversation with people who were simultaneously browsing with their phones. Because, I say this with experience, something we definitely succeed at in our society is denial. At what point does this become a real problem? We all know this doesn’t make us happier in the long-term. Many of us know that society will probably have some serious long-lasting repercussions. Yet, we still don’t stop. Most people don’t even slow down. If you look through the generations of “unacceptable” behaviors in large doses you could say, people can watch too much television or drink heavily or play video games. These activities were/are easy to identify that they need parameters and can’t be indulged in 24/7. However our phones are showing the opposite to be true. Individuals aren’t putting limitations or restrictions, if anything we are sharing apps and showing one another posts as a way to interact. Again providing only these superficial conversations. We hold tightly to these because we’re afraid I think. Even though we know a puppy GIF isn’t going to make us “really” happy, we don’t know where else to turn to fill this void. So we’re okay with the false sense of happiness while in the meantime we struggle in our real lives to find our true joy. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who don’t even know where to start on living a happy life. Because we’re already so bad at keeping these connections with each other. We show up to work to talk about the weather, the game, drinking, The Bachelor etc. We have no one to talk with about our fears, dreams, or what we strive to become. But when it comes down to it, humans are pretty easy to understand. The thing we all have in common is, we all want to be seen and heard and preferably understood. If not, then what’s the point of existence? Unfortunately, this is something our society is so out of practice on, that we don’t even realize it’s missing. Those of you that are currently working in an office/cubicle right now, could you imagine asking the next person that comes up to your desk, “What single event has had the biggest impact on your life?” They would probably look at you like you are taking crazy pills. What comes up for you just thinking about asking someone, who you spend almost half your life with everyday, this very question or one like it? Yes, it feels very edgy. But also, don’t you kinda want to know the answer? We are all incredible and unique beings that are all very special in that no one else shares our perspective. The most efficient thing we have to bridge the gap of understanding these individual perspectives is the spoken word. I look back on my life and I was far better at having these conversations with people when I was in college. In fact, some of the relationships I still have from these days have completely changed direction. Twenty years ago we would ask one another questions like, “What makes someone truly evil?” or “What keeps you up at night?” and my personal favorite, “What lies do you most often tell yourself?” We would stay up all night discussing these different themes and all the while, we were creating a stronger bond between us. Today the people are the same, but the conversations are much more superficial. You could say that’s because we are now living our life instead of just pontificating on how it could be. But this seems like an excuse. We don’t because we’re just bad at it. We haven’t practiced talking to others like this in a while or maybe ever.

I am certainly not the best at striking up deep conversations with complete strangers, but I’ve recently realized that I miss these types of exchanges. My friend Bernice commiserated this with me since we are both traveling. She challenged me to work on having more meaningful communication with others. Sort of like researching the best methods of conversing. Then we’re going to report back on our findings. It’s not until this very moment that I really took this seriously. I’m going to practice this! There’s only one way to get good at something or learning a new skill. Perhaps you should try this too? It’s going to be uncomfortable at first, but I promise you, we will all benefit from having deeper connections with one another.

Surrendering

I am in the process of recovering from a nasty bout of strep throat. I’ve only had strep one other time when I was about 16 years of age. Fortunately, I was well enough to drive Traci to the airport in London and back on Friday. I can’t help but wonder, how did I catch this? It’s not like I’ve been around tons of people lately, none of them have been sick. Now that I have embraced the fact that all of life is made of vibrations, well, why did I attract this? Not to mention a whole host of other oddities I have also attracted the last couple of days, but I’ll come back to these later. What I often learn from being sick is to just slow down. I was doing so much driving while Traci was visiting. Which I was more than happy to do. We saw and experienced so many things while she was here. We went to Stonehenge on the Solstice, played on the beach, visited Otters, got tattoos, enjoyed London, hiked with the dogs many times, shared amazing food and spent time with some incredible people during her stay here. Christmas morning was such a great memory that will forever be embedded into my mind. Traci, Farukh and I all opened presents and shared stories and memories of the past. Traci started talking to Farukh about the Law of Attraction and other interesting things we are currently practicing. We went for a hike with the dogs while we waited for the local pub to open. Once it opened we chatted with a few locals and then quickly figured out they weren’t serving food. So we left and drove around, calling place after place, not finding anything open on Christmas Day. We finally came to an Inn about 4 miles from the house and we asked a couple if they were serving food. They said no, but the “Welcome Stranger Inn” had setup a feast for anyone to come and join in. Perfect! We arrived and there was a full turkey, potatoes, seafood, cheese and lots more. It was incredible. All for free. The three of us sat down enjoying the splendor and hardly believing our luck at having found such a wonderful place. When we returned back to the house, it wasn’t quite the same. We had to say goodbye to Farukh since he had to make the arduous drive back to London to be with his son. Little did I know that this goodbye, was much more abiding than I ever could have imagined.

Today I am on the couch with two dogs, watching Netflix and taking my cough syrup, tea and Lemsip every couple of hours. I’m still recovering from some shocking news that happened the night before. My friend for over 12 years decided to no longer continue our friendship. She had already began being very distant from me since I left the country. It always felt like a struggle to call or get her to text me back. I guess I just thought she’d be one of those friends who would always be there for me. She stated, surprisingly in her text, that our relationship hasn’t been healthy for either one of us the past few years. Wow, I certainly didn’t feel this way. There was no other explanation given. Now the old me, would have immediately taken this news personally and quickly become the victim of not being good enough and huddled into a messy gooey pile of shame and abandonment. The old me would have hurried to the nearest dispensary to smoke all my troubles and despair away. Not this time. I’m proud to say that I had my moment of sadness and tears, but not for long. Very quickly, I chose to see this as an opportunity to grow and look at the situation from a different angle. There are no mistakes. My friend, had her own perspective on our relationship and she was certainly allowed this even though it was not lined up with mine. Friendships sometimes end, even close ones. That is okay. This gives us both the space we needed to welcome and enjoy new friendships. Ones where we share more commonalities and are able to be heard more effectively. It’s better for all of us to enjoy friendships that we are more aligned with. I’ve learned within the past month that if I am in a relationship dynamic that is somehow holding me from my desires, then it is no longer serving me. I have to let it go. Surrender, stop holding onto it for the sake of not feeling alone. If this is how my friend feels then by all means I won’t make her feel bad for making a choice that was right for her. If anything, I am proud of her. She will always hold a special place in my heart and we never know what the future holds. Perhaps we will meet again someday when we’re older, grayer and wiser. 🙂

Which brings me to my most recent attraction which has been going on for several days, but I am finally able to to see it for what it is. It seems the most common way to end a relationship in today’s society is to never actually end it and to just disappear into the void. Farukh has been radio silent since last Thursday. After nearly 8 weeks of daily iterations of, “good morning” and “good night” texts. Since December 28th, I have received nothing. Which of course, left me wondering if I spent enough time with him while he was here or was I too distracted by the dogs, or was it a mistake to finally give him the site to my blog, then again maybe he just finally got tired of making the tedious drive to come visit me. I’ll probably never know. What’s even worse is, what if he was hit by a bus? I’ll never know. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am 40 years old and have just been ghosted. But I can’t write what I did above about my friend without having some understanding as to why this happened. He, just like my friend, had to surrender and let go of what was standing in the way of him reaching his own desires and happiness. I would never want to willingly be this obstacle to anyone. It is disappointing that he didn’t have the courage or believe I had the understanding to be able to end with a conversation. But I guess, we can’t blame others for taking the easy road. If anything, it provides more evidence that his decision was better for the both of us. Thank You, Next?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savoring

As always, I am enjoying myself immensely here in England. I have completed 5 weeks out of the 7 total weeks living in my current house in Devon. I have become very attached to the house owners’ dog, Amber, and am not looking forward to our inevitable parting when I am off to Dorset on January 7th. We have been keeping busy with walking and hiking everyday. Amber is a Hungarian Vizsla so she has an enormous amount of energy. I have been driving her (sometimes with Chewy) to the beautiful idyllic settings that Dartmoor freely exhibits. We recently drove about an hour to Hope Cove and Amber was able to play in the seashore. There was also a great hiking trail that followed the coast onto the next village. We walked for hours and loved every minute. After a satisfying day we ended up at a pub and I had the best chicken fajitas so far since I left the states. I am having such a great time with Amber! She is also very attached to me, which the owners told me ahead of time that bonding is very common for this breed. I left her with a very familiar neighbor for a few days while I traveled to London to pick up Traci from the airport. Only to return to a very excited, while simultaneously distressed, dog who slept very close to me that night. I vowed to not be parted from her again during my stay here. While I was in London I took advantage of the beautiful local parks. Many are paid for by the UK Lottery system. I know we have city parks in the US but they don’t really compare to the ones in England. Here the parks are often huge and include miles of trails to roam around in. The dogs are always able to be off their leashes which is a nice bonus for me. 🙂 It’s easy to spend an entire day enjoying the immense surroundings and chatting with the lovely, congenial people the park brings together. When Chewy and I arrived at a park known as Bushy Park, there were hundreds of people dressed up as Santa Claus walking past us towards their cars. I later discovered there was a Santa 5K run that just took place. It seemed very uncomfortable in the beards and heavy clothing, but there were so many smiling faces I couldn’t help but smile myself. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to provide photos of the event. However, I hope the general splendor of the area is more than enough to satisfy.

Now that Traci is here time is just flying by. We’ve spent a lot of time driving from place to place with the dogs. We’ve been enjoying the local food and chatting with the very pleasant residents of this wonderful country. Traci keeps mentioning how nice people are here in England. I couldn’t agree more. There is always a friendly face nearby who is open to questions or just random conversation. It probably helps that we have American accents as this is always a good ice breaker. Yet, it’s much more than that. Since I have arrived in the UK, I’ve continuously felt that the people here live a very happy and harmoniously life. I know that’s a large, broad statement based entirely on anecdotal evidence. But I am also going with my gut on this one. I have now spent a good amount of time within seven different locations within this country. I believe, the quality of life for the people in England is quite good. The closest town I am currently in proximity to is called Exeter, which has a population of about 180,000 residents. I easily spent more time talking to people within the town in one day than my entire four weeks in Spain. Granted, there was a language barrier, but it’s deeper than that. The people here are joyful, just generally in good moods and happy to be of assistance. It could also be due to Christmas being only a few days away. Although, I’ve been here since mid September when it was still warm and was consistently greeted with the same cordial inhabitants. No, I truly believe I have found the genuinely cheerful mecca of the world. These experiences with others have made an impact on how I view my own joyfulness. I tend to savor my experiences much more here. It is incredibly easier to feel happy even if I am having an off day. We live in a global society that values the quick, micro bursts of pleasure. I was, and at times still am, just as guilty of this. I find a cute cat gif and then immediately move on to the next one perpetually searching and searching. Not really sure what I am searching for honestly. If you aren’t yet familiar with Chamath Palihapitiya, he is definitely worth checking out. He is a Facebook founder that is very open about his tremendous guilt regarding the behemoth he helped create and the implications of how consumer internet businesses knowingly exploit the psychology of individuals. It comes down to companies understanding how to manipulate the user in order for them to “like” something to provide that very fleeting dopamine hit. I don’t want to just pick on facebook as there are many outlets for this same compulsion. Yet, something that is consistent among the users is that these short-term feedback loops become an addiction. This is also where the money flows endlessly in creation. More and more resources are devoted to finding the “hook” except, when it comes down to it, scientifically this doesn’t make us any happier than when we started. Personally this made me feel more empty inside. Don’t you personally find this to be true? Endlessly clicking on quotes or PNGs that will sometimes inflict a brief chuckle before promptly diving in for more. This doesn’t create happiness and we know it. This is also precisely why I do not attach my blog to any social media platforms. Yes, the growth is much slower and it takes more commitment, but the end result is something I can be proud to deliver. Life isn’t about the instant gratification. I’m learning that the enjoyment of our experience comes from actually taking the time to earnestly savor and relish the moment for weeks, even months or years down the road. Something I can receive from a slice of delicious cheesecake or a stroll in the park. How incredible life is when we stop looking at our phones and sit back and bask in the encounters that are freely offered. It’s very empowering to truly not giving a damn about what people think or how many “likes” or “follows” are acquired on Instagram. Sort of like deprogramming ourselves and becoming part of the world again. Words can not express how amazing this feels. I no longer feel anything even close to depression. I only feel perpetual abundance. I’m not saying give up social media entirely, but as Chamath says, shouldn’t we at least be talking about how this is hindering our very existence? “We are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” I think this is definitely worth a discussion to work together to form a solution to this ongoing programming. 

No Such Thing as Luck

I am back in London and about to pick up my friend, Traci from the Heathrow airport. I am currently using a computer in the lobby of my hotel since I didn’t think to bring my laptop. The current spell check is set to Ukrainian so I apologize for any strange spellings. Chewy and I have been enjoying the beautiful public parks that London has to offer. I’ll have to post pics in a few days. Fortunately, it’s super easy now to get around since I just bought a car!! It just happened a few days ago. I was having a normal day back in Ilsington/Devonshire when I had a craving for some chips/crisps. I grabbed Amber and we walked to the local village shop. On our way back, is when I noticed the beautiful blue Hyundai Coupe sitting just outside my place of residence with a “For Sale” sign in the window. I thought to myself, surely I can’t afford this beautiful car. I walked up and read the sign 2006 only 65,000 miles for 1,800 pounds! I was about to renew my current car rental another three months for nearly the same price! I immediately called the number. It turned out to be the woman in the shop that sold me the crips!! Luck or fate? hmmm We talked about the vehicles history and found out the car was kept in immaculate shape. I test drove the next day, we agreed on 1,700 and two days later I am in London in my new car. I couldn’t be happier!! Now I have freedom and can go anywhere. I can drive to Ireland, France or even Norway as there is a ferry in Scotland that I can use to transport my car. Now all I need to get is a tent and sleeping bag and I will be able to stay in Europe forever! haha Housesitting is going very well in England, but they are much more spare in other areas of Europe. Plus, I love camping and have missed it terribly!! I wish Chewy was more of a fan, but he’ll make due. One thing I’ve learned while traveling with Chewy is he gets more excited and animated the more luxurious the home is. He wasn’t very excited to come to London with me as he was very Happy back in Devon. I never thought I would be choosing places that fit my dogs’ needs more than myself. Ahhh life.

I’ve also had a couple of people asking about how the dating is going. I have been dating Farukh for about 6 weeks now and we are progressing along nicely. Neither of us are in a rush and we’re just happy to be enjoying the experience. When I arrived in London he surprised me by taking me to a Cabaret show. It was a fun and unique. It feels so good to be courted and the have someone constantly showing up surprising me with wonderful gifts. I am also very happy to get the perspective of someones world who’s parents grew up in Pakistan. What a different life he has lead. I appreciate when we are in the country and he mentions there aren’t a lot of brown/people of color nearby. I find it so interesting that while I am the foreigner, he is the one that stands out the most as different in some rural settings. It’s also kind of odd that his son (Farukh has an 8 y/o son) who’s name is Raihan, is often called Ryan in his London school just to make it easier. Keep in mind, London is one of, if not THE most diverse city in the world. There are many different nationalities that are ever present. But even here things shift toward the White English way of life. I understand when this was this case in Kansas or Colorado where it wasn’t very diverse. But when over half of the population is not English, I guess I thought the other cultures would be more embraced. This isn’t coming from a place of judgment or appraisal. It’s just more that I appreciate the awareness and wish to one day understand the reasoning as I continue to take in this wonderful gift of endless excursions.