This qi gong move is called Big Bear Swims in Ocean and is totally great for relieving stress in the shoulders and back. The energy of the river helps move the energy out & away, and for this I am grateful because here in Central Texas, we’ve got big drought problems. My dog Henry came along for this one w00f.
I am not going to review all the death and dying I was close to this past year; I’d rather focus on what it has inspired me to do.
I came to visit my ex-husband in Mexico rather unexpectedly, and I certainly did not plan to stay as long as I have, but my lessons are starting to appear in front of me and I do not want to miss this opportunity to grow.
Watching my mother’s death was a huge wake-up call for me. I changed everything about my life and felt like I had the opportunity to elevate myself to higher spiritual lessons. I was completely inspired and ready for such a drastic change, so I suppose it’s no coincidence that I lost everything in my life at the same time. Well everything except my good health. I lost my job, my apartment and my reason to be in Woodstock, Illinois, but this situation afforded me the opportunity to extend my stay in San Miguel de Allende. I felt guilty about this at first, but not anymore.
When I first came to Mexico many years ago, I was a healthy and spiritually minded woman, eager to achieve many things in life. I am still this same woman, but I certainly did lose myself along the way for a number of years before waking up and seizing my potential once again. A few weeks ago, I said to Reed, “this is a country full of bad decisions.” He responded with, “perhaps you just made bad decisions while here”, and I agreed he has a point. I can’t really blame Mexico for the decisions I made, I alone am responsible for my choices in life and want to make sure I make the best choices moving forward. I know I have not been alone in making bad choices while here; I have seen so many Gringos destroy themselves when they move here. I have seen some ugly things and now is my opportunity to heal thyself and come full circle.
I made a joke in yoga class that I needed lots of yoga while here because I need strength to combat the devil. Everyone laughed because they know. This country, this town makes it so easy to fall into trouble. It’s a lovely pretty little colorful town, with lots of artists, writers and free thinkers and you can absolutely get caught up in the charm of it, but if you are not strong in your personal convictions, you can get swallowed up by the never-ending fiestas. After Reed & I were married, I needed to leave this town because, well because I had had enough of the party and needed to get back to real work. Looking back, I didn’t fare so well in Texas either; it was not the place for me, just as San Miguel is not the place for me.
Here I have been presented with an opportunity to come full circle. A chance to fight back the devil and be the woman that I want to be. It was easy to be super-healthy while I was living in Woodstock; I never saw the party and was very comfortable with that — but I was always alone, and I was not comfortable with that. Here in Mexico; the party is everywhere — and especially at Reed’s house. I see him struggling with his health and with feeling good. I am being the good wife that I was not while we were married and attempting to make him comfortable without enabling his behavior. I had my own little slip with smoking when I first arrived but have stopped that outrageous behavior because smoking sucks donkey dicks.
A long-time frind of mine who lived here in San Miguel for many years, but returned to her home town in Northern California, has recently been diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. She is essentially me and there, but for the Grace of God go I. In my few weeks while here in San Miguel, I have been writing long, detailed emails to my friend, filling her in on my adventures and news of the town. It has been a positive way for me to share what’s going on and to stay honest about my intentions. We don’t really talk about cancer, we talk about adventures. She has been gearing up to begin her aggressive chemotherapy treatment but was just haneded the news that her heart is not strong enough to endure the treatment and other options must be reviewed and decided upon now. NOW.
When I read her email yesterday, it launched me into a mood I was not quite prepared for; I sat in stone silence for quite some time before I found ways to distract myself. I had horrible nightmares and woke up in tears. I did not respond to my friend after she sent me that email to tell me her “heart-stopping news”, but when I awoke, I said to myself, “imagine how she feels” and reached out to her on the spot.
I want to have no regrets.
I want to make good decisions, no matter what country I am in.
I want to have more children in my life (not mine, silly)
I want to live a full life, full of loving relationships.
I want to be barefoot in the grass as much as possible before I die.
I am so very grateful for all the lessons of 2013 and whole-heartily look forward to the lessons of 2014.
May has finally warmed things up in the Midwest after a never-ending winter, and now the buds, blossoms and green fields are singing everywhere — I have even spotted a real live elbow or two (a sure sign of spring) while out and about. I am on Month Two Point Five of my “time out” from the city and I continue to make good on the promise to myself that I would not get bored. Outside of work and school, I intend to find new people, places and things and interesting things to do. People live here for a reason, right?
I’ll be honest; Northern Illinois bores me to absolute tears. I know I am not long for this area because I am here for a reason and I am dedicated to discovering things that I had not known while growing up, nor back for ocassional visits. I’ve officially made peace with Woodstock, but c’mon you all drive me crazy Illinois.
When I go to grocery stores and ask if they have organic vegetables, they look at me as if I am the Creature from the Black Lagoon. A produce guy said to me, “I’ve been eating these pesticides my whole life and nothing has happened to me!” I laughed, said “me too!” and sashayed away. We’ve all been eating them but now it’s time to stop, Bubs! I don’t expect it to be Organic Town USA here, but I do enjoy the conversations it can encourage. Northern Illinois has a huge resistance to it.
I have never understood McHenry County and probably never will. I went to the local community college because I heard they had a map of all the county trails but when I pulled into the main parking lot, I almost fell out of my car. Literally. They had created a mock-cemetery in the front yard of all the babies aborted. There were vicious signs everywhere. I was aghast. At the community college. eeee-gads. I’ve often commented that it feels more like Texas here than Texas.
There is something about this county that just does not want to be budged.
So be it, I am only a visitor.
My temporary explorations must carry on! The curious mind has pushed me across the border to Wisconsin, once again. My ex-sister-in-law Wendy and her family live in Linn Township and we have long considered each other as family, even though technically we are no longer. Wendy’s oldest son, Jackson, now five, has autism and recently they added Inka, the German autism service dog, to their rowsy family. Inka was trained in Germany and continues her training locally yet has a fairly substantial bill to support her services. Wendy and her neighbors are really good about creating events to support each other and a few weeks ago they hosted a partial-walk around Lake Geneva to raise funds to defer some of Inka’s training costs. The walk ended at Foley’s Bar & Grill where they offered a special Reuben sandwich for the day and sponsored a meat raffle. yes a meat raffle, say what?! Tables & tables of meat were raffled off, I’ve never seen anything like it. I won a huge a Wisconsin salami.
So this was not only a great event to be involved in, it totally sparked my memory that there is a 20-something-mile path that goes all the way around the lake and it’s open to the public. Over the past two weeks, I have hit this trail and it is SPECTACULAR.
As you make your way around the lake, homes that are not visible from anywhere but the lakefront are visible, as are their gorgeous landscapes and lake-faring accouterments. No two homes are the same and the path is varied and semi-rugged, by going through golf courses, flat beaches, endless green lawns and beautiful lakefront patios and so on. I recommend remaining very respectful because you are very close to people’s homes, but there certainly are areas you can sit back and take in the views. I sat at William Wrigley’s boat slip to take in the sunset — very serene indeed.
More information in case you want to plan this thing out a bit more than me:
Naturally I made a Vine:
I look forward to learning more about Lake Geneva this summer, especially because this is FREE! Things just taste better when they are free, yahvoh!
I am completely grateful my health has returned (WHEW!) and my legs are strong once again and ready to hike, hike hike. Ever since I read Cheryl Strayed’s “WILD” when I was in Lake Tahoe a few weeks ago, I am feeling compelled to plan a super-big hike, but not entirely the same as Cheryl Strayed’s hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.
I back-packed through Northern Arizona several years ago and hiking with a monster-backpack is very hard work — I felt very tall and my legs were never stronger. It’s hot and dirty, dusty and smelly but I absolutely loved the experience — even though a mountain lion growled at me and I thought I was going to die right there. I didn’t.
That was an experience a woman should experience in her twenties, and that’s about when I had mine. Except I think I was 32. I am looking to do something different now and will continue to research and plan.
My legs are ready to climb things again, this much I know. A treadmill will not cut it.
Next up, mom’s ashes are going for a swim.
Thank you for reading my words, I do appreciate it. xo