Get Lost

This morning on the way down the mountain there was a traffic accident. I had a choice to sit through it or take a road less traveled on an adventure. Yeah, you already know what I did! I took a road into an unknown destination. And, the magic began to appear through every curb and dip into an area I had never visited. I was going down the rabbit hole, and I just knew I would never be the same again. Each scene took my breath way. Today is just lovely!

That’s the beauty of taking adventures…it’s the getting lost part that’s mystical. I live for the excitement of finding treasures through serendipity. I began to see farm houses with mountain views, horses on scenery that belongs in movies, and endless amount of greenery. It was an explosion of wonder and all this so close to my house…and yet…so very far. All of this in a world of its own.

These are the moments my husband refers to as Millie’s Fairy-Ass Moments when the “aha’s,” “wow’s,” “look at that,” “Oh My God!” and so many other childlike words escape me. These are the moments I drive through the curbs yelling, “Weeeeee!” It’s in those specific moments that I am reminded that the gypsy in me is always ready to take flight and explore. These mountains have a way of turning you around even when you think you are going the right direction. The longer I drove the clearer the awareness arrived, “This is what I want to do. I want to write and travel. I want to hear stories from strangers in all corners of the world while giving our little girl an experience of a lifetime.” This morning brought up that confirmation that things need to work towards that so I can get lost without an agenda. I need more of this because it makes me come alive.

When was the last time you got lost? Do you enjoy experiencing new places or does it cause you anxiety? Can you get up on a moment’s notice or do you need planning? I urge you to the road less travel. Don’t have a plan. Enjoy one morning without it. Make time breathe outdoors, talk to strangers, and share in this space with get to call home.

The Art of Getting Lost

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This morning on the way down the mountain into Asheville there was a traffic accident. I had a choice to sit through it or take a road less traveled on an adventure. Yeah, you already know what I did! I took a road into an unknown destination. And, the magic began to appear through every curb and dip into an area I had never visited. I was going down the rabbit hole, and I just knew I would never be the same again. Each scene took my breath way. Today is just lovely!

That’s the beauty of taking adventures…it’s the getting lost part that’s mystical.  There is a true art to purposely getting lost and challenging your spirit to thrive with enjoyment. I live for the excitement of finding treasures through serendipity. I began to see farm houses with mountain views, horses on scenery that belongs in movies, and endless amount of greenery. It was an explosion of wonder and all this so close to my house…and yet…so very far. All of this in a world of its own.

These are the moments my husband refers to as Millie’s Fairy-Ass Moments when the “aha’s,” “wow’s,” “look at that,” “Oh My God!” and so many other childlike words escape me. These are the moments I drive through the curbs yelling, “Weeeeee!” It’s in those specific moments that I am reminded that the gypsy in me is always ready to take flight and explore. These mountains have a way of turning you around even when you think you are going the right direction. The longer I drove the clearer the awareness arrived, “This is what I want to do. I want to write and travel. I want to hear stories from strangers in all corners of the world while giving our little girl an experience of a lifetime.” This morning brought up that confirmation that things need to work towards that so I can get lost without an agenda. I need more of this because it makes me come alive.  I need to continue manifesting this awareness into my reality because it is a vital facet of my soul.  This is who I am.  I have felt stuck for so long that when I do get lost I feel like I find my grounding.

When was the last time you got lost? Do you enjoy experiencing new places or does it cause you anxiety? Can you get up on a moment’s notice or do you need planning? I urge you to take the road less traveled. Don’t have a plan. Enjoy one morning without it. Make time to breathe outdoors, talk to strangers, and share in this space with get to call home.

Lost in a Moment

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Yesterday, while sitting in a waiting room for my granddaughter to get her pediatric check-up and shots, I witnessed humility at its best. I observed a young woman with her grandfather sitting side-by-side. The woman was reading scripture to him from her phone in Spanish. His distant look was endearing, sad, yet holding the rawness of final years in humanity. I have witnessed it many times in loved ones who have suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Her words gently stroked him in his state of deep thought, lost in some other realm trying to reach this one. Every so often he would ask where he was or why he was there? She would rub his arm softly with security and explained he was there to see his doctor. She would continue reading from her phone. He would stare endlessly into a space void, a time warp, with a haze over his eyes that said, “I am here but I am not,” while her words caressed every syllable and his stare carefully followed them.

I sat, almost embarrassed, through the voyeurism rocking my baby girl back and forth trying to keep her entertained in the stroller. The scene put life back into perspective. I paused often, holding back tears, as he would question her again and again in moments of complete confusion. I thought about my mother before she passed. I thought about my children, when in their toddler stages, would ask again and again the same questions expecting different answers. We enter through youth and end through similarities…waiting for the love and care of another to lovingly embrace us without anger or judgment.

And, there, holding a one year old, attempting to make sense of life now and the hours ahead I was touched by humanity at the core of vulnerability. We are humans avoiding the constant flow of deep emotions. We keep busy here and there exploring the senses without truly being present. We are in need of love, touch, acceptance, and safety. If we are as fortunate as this man we have done an amazing job with our lives. He was touched attentively by someone dear and near to him. In the end that’s all we should want and need: the love from another who can care for us and still see us human rather than a burden.

Even today the scene tugs at me.  I feel the claws of gratitude urging acknowledgment. I am grateful for health, love, and the acceptance of my humanity. I am grateful for my evolution, the things I have accomplished, the obstacles I have endured and the loved ones dear to me who return with hugs and kisses. I am humbled by those who accept my imperfections and choose to laugh through my moments of insanity. I am deeply loved! I know this.  I feel this with certainty.  I am touched by friendships, relationships, and a man who would go to the end of the world in order to make me smile. Ah…we are made from complexities but if we allow vulnerability to guide us we are touched by the Divine. Mucho love to you!

Getting Lost

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This morning on the way back from visiting a community college, my daughter and I got lost in the back roads.  She doesn’t do well with adventures, especially after stressing over college paperwork.  I, on the other hand, while the grandbaby slept peacefully in her car seat, dove into the possibilities of finding a new place, exploring my surroundings, and prayed I didn’t run out of gas.  I get lost often.  Things get lost.  Words get lost.  People get lost.  Life can become a lost playground if we aren’t present for the most part.  Each day gets lost into night and so on.  The hardest part of “lost” is never truly expressing it to someone.  When a relationship is over (regardless if it’s of lovers, parents, children, or friends) there is a lapse of time that can mend and then there isn’t.  Waiting for the perfect opportunity is like waiting for a unicorn to swift us away.  It only happens in the mind.

I used to have an amazing sense of direction.  I don’t anymore.  I go into a new trail, a mountain hike, and if I am not consciously present I will find myself in the middle of unchartered territory. Just like this morning, it happens often.  I rarely question the wrong turn.  I somehow know that I will get through the moment.  My daughter said, “Mom, do you know where you are going? (Several times with much expressed anxiety). And, I answered, “Nope…but all roads lead somewhere!” Not an answer that securely assures a fearful person. Complete exasperation came from the passenger side.  What I have found is that in those lost moments I get the chance to enter a new direction.  Beauty unfolds because I am not on track.  Getting lost is never a waste of time in this sense.  The unknown unfolds and opportunities arise in the most awed-stricken ways.  It’s magical and mysterious.  What an amazing ride!

Sometimes losing someone is just like that…you don’t know how amazing they are until you are in a different terrain.  We take people for granted.  We, as divine entities, have those awakening moments of appreciation but the human part of us clouds them.  We don’t know our asses from our heads at times.  My best friend, Bobbie, has a saying, “Get your head out of your ass.  It wasn’t meant to be worn as a hat.”  Getting lost in the world is magical.  Getting lost in our own turmoil, chaos and mind is a dangerous place.  We are our worst enemies.

I have a way of learning.  I need space, nature and time.  I need to be outside and roam endlessly in the freedom of the world.  This is why I love traveling.  I have on a bucket list the places I will visit and explore in order to find me.  With each journey I know something will open up.  Getting lost is not scary (not in my absent-minded little head).  I am not daunted by this and have never been.  I am, however, intimidated by the loss of people who I love and mean the world to me.  I am perplexed at the way folks come into my life and quickly manage to leave without clearing up issues.  This type of loss from humanity aches inside in a way I avoid…but can’t escape.  We all go through it.

An hour later, and many mountain back roads, we found the way home.  Now hungry and aggravated, my 18 year old laughs.  She said, “I wasn’t really worried!  I was just concerned that we would run out of gas or wouldn’t find a place to eat.” (As if we were on an isolated island with Tom Hanks and Wilson).   I know she thinks that I am an airy-fairy hippie.  I get lost in our conversations, laughter, and love.  She knows this part of me well enough to feel that I can get us back on track while singing (horribly) to the great radio tunes.  It was a gorgeous morning.  The haze over the Blue Ridge Mountains was astonishing and seductive.  I kept saying that “as long as I follow the mountains I know we can make it home.”  And, just like that I found home to be right there in the car surrounded by two beautiful souls, bemused by my yearning to be an explorer.  Getting lost never felt so great!

Let’s be adventurers

staircasetoheavenI woke this morning with a tug and an ache to be up on a mountain top. Got geared up (by this I mean put on my hiking boots…that’s as much gear as I can handle) and headed down the mountain and then up the Blue Ridge Parkway. Unfortunately, about 16 miles into the drive the gates were closed. The winter weather has impeded the continuation of great exploration and trailing. I detoured on the next exit and found an isolated trail on the side of the road. I believe all trails end somewhere, anywhere. That goes for roads, relationships and life. Not all trails are beautiful but they all have splendid uniqueness. I like my hikes to have a gratification spot at the end of the incline. I want to see a waterfall, a stream or a gorgeous mountain view. The idea of just hiking for the sake of walking does nothing for me.

So there I was alone in the forest pushing my butt up and up and up without a destination. A little tidbit about me: I have no sense of time or distance. What I think is 5 minutes is probably 25. When I say I’ve walked a mile, I can bet it is more like three. It doesn’t matter. Once I am exploring a trail I lose track of it all. I get out of my head. I begin to find hearts in nature and witness the canvas of Divinity staring from every direction. I feel like I can breathe especially after a cold winter season.

ruinsThis hike was insane. The higher I climbed the less I saw. The clouds gathered in a canopy creating darkness and a chill that went through my coat. I was determine to find something, anything that could show me that I was going to have surprise at the end of the trail. I met a gentleman coming down with his dog. As I gasped for air I asked if I was near the top. He smiled, and pointed out that I was in fact at the top. He expressed distance in yards and timing, once again not a concept I follow very well. I was thankful to be pointed towards something.

I was so enthralled in climbing and getting to a final place of beauty that I missed the walk. I skipped the scenery. That’s how it is in life. We are so focused on the prize and goal that we forget to take in the journey. It wasn’t until I came down several hours later that I realized that the mountain scenery was right next to me throughout the entire trek.

comingdownI did make it to a gorgeous stream. It looked like something from Lord of the Rings. There were ruins of what was once a lodge that burnt down a hundred years ago. I was in heaven. There is a moment of euphoria that I enter when I make it to that spot that calls for me. Even when I don’t know the final place, my spirit knows I’ve had enough. My body feels ecstatic. I wish I could bottle it up and wear it whenever I need it without climbing to the top of a mountain or getting lost in the wilderness of the unknown.

I rarely have plans. I don’t follow a list of things to do, unless it is for work. Two of the things I live by are spontaneity and the law of serendipity. If something crosses my path and it calls for me I go out of my way to explore it. My curiosity is charged by trails in nature, a road less traveled, a path that draws the senses, and the simple ability to enter into an adventure.

May the next detour call out for you to explore. Be an adventurer in your own life. Throw out the plans for a little bit. Get out of routine and make the most of the road less traveled, a deviation on a dead end street, or just the ability to get lost for a little while. Sometimes you just have to let go of your parameters. You will be amazed at the gratitude and appreciation your spirit will obtain.

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Getting Lost

Yesterday I pulled to the side of the road near our place, parked my car, and entered a trail that’s not marked.  I have seen a few cars parked there many times for over a year.  I normally won’t take a hike unless it is a defined trail.  But, yesterday I was in dire destitution to get lost in nature.  I needed to find the way back to a place of serenity.  I needed the grounding that arrives after a hike.   I absolutely craved to go within and rip out the things that were dragging me down.  I had been feeling “off” for days.  I don’t do well in that place of uncertainty.  Memories are tiny pictures that need alteration at times.  I can choose to delete them but I need to find a space alone to do it.  These mountains are my healing space.

There is magic in exploring the wilderness of the unknown.  Slipping into the thickness of shrubs, trees, and moss is mystical and breathtaking.  The smell of decomposed soil is enticing.  Climbing over rocks, boulders, creeks, and huge fallen trees makes for a childlike environment.   A non-defined path is a maze to me that whispers to be discovered.  There is nothing else like it in a metaphysical sense.

Unfortunately, these mountains have a way of twisting and turning anyone with the best possible sense of direction.  The more you trek into the woods the less perception of direction is available.  I just put on my IPOD and walked.  I had no clue where I was going.  All that was guiding me were worn out paths that seemed to deviate in many areas.  Upward and onward!  I wasn’t worried about coming back.  I only wanted to move forward.  In a metaphorically sense I needed to get lost in the wilderness of my mind.

It wasn’t until 45 minutes later that I realized that I had no recollection of where I had entered.  I couldn’t see where I would end either.  The thickness of the forest embraced me.  I reached a meadow, and a nook, a hollow square opening that must’ve been part of a well at some point.  I felt like I was in another world.  I stood there for a few minutes trying to gather my breath and figure out my way back home.  I was lost.  I threw my hands in the air, stared at the thickness of the trees and admitted that I had no clue of where I was going.  “Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.”

Every turn and trail I took allowed me to move inward.  If the worst possible scenario was that I was truly lost in the woods, then I knew I was okay.  My home was only a few miles from there.  I understand completely why people take walks to gather their thoughts, to regain clarity.  As you walk the only thing available is you for the taking.  The only thing that matters is the present moment.  Things get put in perspective.  Moments get highlighted.  You can’t solve anything, yet everything gets diluted and distributed to a place of peace.  This is why I hike.  Emotions come up and outward.  Sweat allows for everything to be purged.  It is the only form of validating my truth.  Any issues that need addressing get my full attention.  I breathe and exhale the smell of the forest.  I am guided by a Divine energy.  Being lost is sometimes the only way to find myself.  When the world gets crazy on the outside I need the woods to call me inward.  I need to know I can recover from hurt, rejection, failure, traumas, stupidity and an array of human emotions.  I hike and with my own guidance find the place of purpose.  Nature is my form of retreat.  I have no other way of explaining it.   I find God in those moments.  I am cradled by the hand of assurance.  It is in those moments that I feel the existence of me more valuable than any other time.  I get connected to a higher self.  Ego gets checked and kicked out of the trail.  Surrendering and letting go are the catalyst for healing.

Somehow, somewhere, I was able to find a clearing.  I came upon the beauty of mountain ranges.  I knew where I was.  I wasn’t far from home.  My exploration took me to a place of certainty.  Sweaty, thirsty, and hungry I was able to find me once again.

“When looking for the path of peace one comes to realize that peace is the path.”  Each turn in the wilderness allows me to come to a place of Spirit.  This doesn’t work for everyone.  The forest does this to me.  To others it is the beach, gardening, fishing, etc.   I have found that there is nothing else in the world that grounds me like hiking in these majestic mountains.  I hope and pray that everyone finds an outlet to get lost in…whether it is yoga, meditating, reading, writing, or anything that separates the mind from the stress of everyday.  This is my wish for you!  And once you find it, never let it go…!