Tag Archives: Travel

The Countdown Begins

7 Jun

Well, it’s begun … in my mind anyway … one week from tomorrow I will put my daughter on a plane without knowing when I will see her next … it could be three months … it could be nine months or even a year.

But, I need to keep reminding myself that this is her dream … she is living her dream … how many people can say that … or have the courage to live it?

My angst about her leaving is not about her not being able to get along without me … rather it’s all about me not being able to get along without her. Oh yes, I will function, I will do the day to day chores and activities that I’ve always done … but her physical presence will be missing from my life … I keep thinking – I’ve already lost the physical presence of one of my daughters …. it’s hard to fathom the thought of living without the presence of this daughter … but I have to … and I will.

I need to keep reminding myself that we all choose how we will react to the situations that arise in our lives. So, I will do my best to think positive thoughts, and keep remembering that in my case, “No news is good news.” Anna is embarking on an opportunity of a lifetime and I am SO proud of her. I know she will do her part to make our world a better place.

In the long run, I know I would feel worse if I made a scene and cried and carried on and begged her not to go.

I found this poem yesterday by Kahlil Gibran that rings true for me right now:

ON CHILDREN
by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might 
that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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Another Stunning Example

20 Apr

If my last post didn’t convince you of God’s intimate presence in our lives, perhaps this one will.   This story comes directly from Phil Bolsta’s blog, http://bolstablog.com

 Keep in mind, though,  that whether or not this gentlemen listened to what he was being told, he still would have been fine – the outcomes would have been completely different, of course, but HE still would have been fine.  Different lessons would have been learned, but HE STILL WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE.

Now … on to the story:
When Christopher Barbour, a clairvoyant intuitive and writer who assists law enforcement with difficult cases, told me these two amazing stories about how his angel saved his life, I knew I had to share them here. Goose bump alert!

As far back as I can remember, I have always felt watched over and cared about by a divine mysterious creator, and what I would call a spiritual support system. Thankfully, this inner life of mine was not foisted upon me by organized religion or well meaning family members—it’s always been there, and always will be there.

When I was seven, episodes of clairvoyance and intuition spontaneously began to bubble to the surface in my life. These experiences always took me directly to the sacred and the mysteries that we all share. That intuitive wiring of mine would eventually become part of my work, expressed via a path of mysticism and service.

If you asked me prior to when I reached my 30s if I believed in angels, I would have said, ”Of course!” I would have answered that question looking through the prism of faith, combined with an inner knowing, as well as through reading accounts in ancient sacred texts, and listening to stories people have shared with me over the years about encounters with angels.

angel-in-forest

In the fall of 2002, I was dealing with some difficult personal and family issues and was rebounding from the death of a friend who had a long struggle with heroin addiction and eventually died of complications from hepatitis. I was in such a state that no amount of praying, meditation or discussion with my support system was helping. I was in a crisis mode unlike anything I had experienced before, and decided one blustery fall day, to take a long walk in a forest near my home in northern Arizona that many have described as “magical.” Walks alone in nature had become my way to deal with my mysteries and some of the darkness of my work, so it seemed the perfect thing for me to do under the circumstances.

My walk began normally but within about forty-five minutes, I had become so entrenched in my own head and problems that I hadn’t realized that I had veered off the path and was walking through a thicket of small trees and shrubs. I kept walking for several more minutes, approaching a line of low shrubs, when I heard a woman call my name. The voice that called “Christopher!” was female, and though I couldn’t place her, she sounded familiar; she shouted my name as only someone who knew me very well would.

I froze on the spot and looked to my left where the voice seemed to come from, and briefly saw a beautiful woman with long, light brown hair and a light colored diaphanous gown. She disappeared after a few seconds, before I was able to get a good look at her. I looked down and realized that I was no longer on the path, and that if I had taken one more step, I would have fallen forty feet onto jagged rocks below. I stood there, alone in the forest, closed my eyes and said to her, “Thank you, thank you, thank you . . .” 

car-ditch-snow

In early December 2004, I booked a trip back to the east coast to see my family in Connecticut for the holidays. I had arranged my trip so that I would return to Arizona on January 4th, after the holiday travel rush. One evening, I got into bed and fell into that state just before sleep called the hypnogogic state.

That is when a profound vision was downloaded into me. I was shown a scenario, seen from my own point of view, of flying back to Arizona from the east coast. It was stormy and raining as the plane landed. I looked to my left and in the seat next to me, there she was again, my angel—beautiful, light-filled, with long hair—the same woman who had called my name that day in the forest two years earlier. She was so light-filled, in fact, that I couldn’t look at her for more than a few seconds for fear that my eyes couldn’t take the brightness.

I was shown myself getting into the car that was to pick me up after my flight home, and then shown the driver and me on the highway north of Phoenix whizzing along. The car hit a patch of ice and I saw myself as the car began to slide off the highway and crash and come apart. I saw the windshield coming closer as I was thrown out of the car. There in front of me, seconds before what would have been my death, was my angel, smiling and radiating peace that I could feel deep within. I awoke with a start, shocked by what I had been shown with such razor clarity. I laid in bed for some time thinking about the vision and pondering canceling my trip east. It was very clear in the vision that I was flying west when this event happened, after I had been to the east coast. As I fell back to sleep, the vision came a second time, exactly as it had played out the first time. It was as if God and my angel didn’t want to leave room for denial or any ”it was just a dream” nonsense. It worked. I awoke the second time with a start and simply said, “Thank you God, thanks guys, I get it, I get it.”

After the visions, I was left with a strong inner knowing that as long as I didn’t return on January 4th, I would not die. I went back east for the holidays and after a few days, I checked the weather reports for Arizona and learned that a series of storms was heading toward the state. In fact, the part of Arizona where I live was bracing for severe floods and storms capable of producing dangerously icy conditions. I called the airline and extended my stay in Connecticut for a week, knowing that it was important, if I wanted to live, not to return to Arizona on January 4th.

I began to think of the driver who was to pick me up at the airport on January 4th and drive me home. As he was driving me to the airport in Phoenix at the beginning of my trip, he said that he would be dropping someone off at my airline around the time of my return, so it would be he easy for him to pick me up and  drive me back home. I attempted to tell him about the visions I had but I was unable to get through to him. I learned early in life that when it comes to visions, people are either open or they’re not-—many, especially men, are unreachable until an experience actually happens to them.

As I sat in my mother’s home in Greenwich, Connecticut, I wondered, Should I call the car service to warn them, not caring if I sounded like a goofball? I decided to do that, and though I tried to call the number at least a dozen times over the course of several days, my call would never go through. It felt to me as though Heaven had something up their sleeves and it was not my business to mess with it. As January 4th neared, I sent the driver grace and prayers for his safety and greater good.

angel-protecting-planeI returned home to Arizona completely intact. I had missed what friends and neighbors would eventually call “the 100-year flood.”  A few weeks after my return, I was catching up with a friend who works in law enforcement and she told me that in early January, while I was away, there had been a terrible accident on the highway north of Phoenix. I froze as she said, “Thank God, no one was in the car with the driver. He lived, but there was virtually nothing left of the rest of the car.”

Several weeks after that, in a synchronicity that only the gods could arrange, I ran into the man who would have been my driver that day—the man who survived the crash. He proceeded to tell me that on January 4th, after dropping a woman off at the airport, he had a very close brush with death as he made his way north on highway I-17. His car hit a patch of ice on the highway north of Phoenix and there was a devastating accident. He told me that the police could not believe that he lived. Only the cage around the driver was intact, the rest of the car was tangled, jagged metal. When the police found out that he worked for a car service, they said, “Thank God you didn’t have any passengers. There’s no way they could have survived.” Then he told me something that I found both fascinating and chilling. The accident occurred in the exact spot where he had pulled over years earlier, to pick up a dead owl and give it a respectful burial.

That driver was scheduled for a close brush with death for reasons known only to God and that man’s spiritual support system. This God we experience and speak about knows the tiniest details about our lives. It was known that this brush with death was scheduled and necessary, and that I was “accidentally” scheduled to be in that car. It was somehow necessary in the whole scheme of things that I was not to reach the car service or the driver to give them a heads up. It felt as if God and my angel were saying, via the visions I was sent

We want you to know this is on the horizon. You can come home if you want, but we think you are needed on that bedeviled planet and have more work to do. It’s up to you, you can come home or stay. The choice is yours. We will be watching very closely.

Needless to say, I chose to stay. What I have learned through these two experiences is that we are more closely watched, and watched over, than we could ever imagine. I often wonder, “Just what is this unseen world that exists and cares so much about us within the vastness of time and space?” I am humbled, and I often cry, when I think about how much this mysterious creator and my angelic companion care about me.

I have never taken one walk in the beauty that surrounds me since without thinking about my angel and the day she called my name with such compassion, saving me from breaking my body in two. Her beauty and light is hard to describe and my love for her knows no bounds. She was there, right beside me in the visions of the car crash, letting me know that she would walk with me to what lies beyond the veil of death, where our lives really begin.

The visions themselves came from the One who created all visions, and wired us with intuition and spiritual gifts and skills and the stamina to not care what others think, the One who waits for us to awaken from our human slumber, who longs for us to remember what we already know.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

 This story was taken from Triumph of the Spirit, Phil Bolsta’s blog.  To learn more about Phil or to read other great stories (including a couple of mine) go to:  http://bolstablog.com

ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA

SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

Here is a three-minute video that introduces you to Phil and his book.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bic0j4QqFbI

Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Hello From Florida

15 Feb

We have officially been in Florida for 24 hours and we are having a wonderful time.  I guess I have to admit that I must have a strong affinity (as opposed to an addiction) for always having access to a computer … and the internet!  For only $15 we can have internet access for the entire week … that was just too good not to take advantage of.View of the Sunset

Whenever we go on vacation I always wonder whether Liz will check in.  If she doesn’t … it’s really fine … but she almost always does. This trip was no exception … remember it’s only been one day!   Roger and I decided to eat supper at this cute restaurant right on the beach.  It was cheap, the food was good, and the atmosphere was festive … even if we were the youngest people there.

At this outdoor restaurant you go up to a window and place your order.  When it’s  ready the waiter comes out, yells your name, and brings the food to your table.  As we were placing our order at the window a waiter came out and yelled LIZ … LIZ ….LIZ … LIZ …. he continued to yell out LIZ as we went to our table.  Where the heck was this Liz?  We sat down and the waiter was still yelling LIZ!  Suddenly at the table directly behind us …. a woman sheepishly yelled out here I am!

By this time I knew what was going on and I was laughing out loud!  I looked at Roger and said, “You get this right?”  He looked at me and said, yah, some lady named Liz just got her food.  No, no, no, well yes technically that is what happened …. but don’t you get it?  That is your daughter making her presence known.  He looked at me, smiled, and nodded in agreement.

Planting a Seed … and It Grows!

31 Jan

Raising my children has been the most rewarding, fullfilling experience of my life.   It has also been  extremely frustrating and agonizing at times as well.  In the end, I learned to accept the difficult along with the good.  What always remains constant and unchanging is the love I feel for my girls – it never waivers … even in the most difficult of times.  For those of you who know me, know that I have seen both sides of the spectrum.

The brightness and love  outweigh any darkness and sadness, and in the end you accept it all just as it is in gratitude for blessings received.

Every now and then though, you do get a glimpse that maybe … just maybe you’ve succeeded in a small way as a parent.  I got one such glimpse this week, when I read my daughter, Anna’s blog post.

http://ifonlyforaday.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/spoiled-beyond-belief/

Memories to last a lifetime

17 May

Wow … I don’t know what else to say.  I’m back from spending 5 glorious days in New York City.  It was a flawless trip … no glitches … air travel left on time and was comfortable … our accommodations at Radio City Apartments were amazing and our time there was so much fun!

New York City has always been on my list of places I must visit … I didn’t know if I would like it … or hate it … but I LOVED it!  I’ve never seen such a vibrant city … full of life literally 24 hours a day.  People of all shapes, sizes, and colors and life styles …. and restaurants and food vendors everywhere.  It was so invigorating to be a part of the mass of humanity that is NYC.

Here is a list of our activiites:

SUNDAY

  • Tour of NBC Studios – got to go on Saturday Night Live Set, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams    
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA) – saw originals by Monet, Picasso, Warhol (and others) 
  • Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) where you can see all of Manhattan
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral

MONDAY

  • toured all neighborhoods of Manhattan on The Big Red Bus, Soho, LIttle Italy, Chinatown, Noho, Tribecka, The Village
  • visited Ground Zero and St. Paul’s Church

TUESDAY

  • TODAY Show – made some on camera shots and got to shake hands with Al Roker and Meredith Viera – saw Jimmy Falon & Jason Castro (latest castoff on American Idol)
  • visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Saw the show A CHORUS LINE

WEDNESDAY

  • took the train and subway to Brooklyn and YANKEE STADIUM
  • attended New York University graduation ceremonies – Michael J. Fox recevied an honorary degree and Michael Strahan, NY GAINTS football player, was the commencement speaker
  • saw LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN studio
  • went to see the broadway production of WICKED

In a nutshell, that was our trip … we ate incredible food every day … from New York bagels to NY sidewalk hot dogs, NY pizza … Puerto Rican food, Italian food … it was all great (and really not that expensive)

We did burn the candle at both ends while we were there but it was so worth it. 

Anna’s best friend, Stephanie, and whom Roger and I consider to be daughter #3, graduated from NYU with honors in broadcast journalism.  We are so proud of her!  She put herself through school and after interning  with Good Morning America is now working for FORBES! Look out world — here comes Stephanie!

You always hear that New Yorker’s are rude and uncaring … we never experienced that … everyone we met was nice and extremely helpful … we always felt safe … no matter what time of day we were on the streets … we were not mugged … we didn’t see any rats … we rode in lots of taxi’s and yes, they do drive a little crazy, but hey, traffic in Manhattan is always crazy … so it was just FUN!

It was truly the trip of a lifetime and I spent many a moment trying to drink it all in and burn it into my memory … I had to pinch myself alot because it truly was a surreal experience in so many ways.

If you ever have the opportunity NYC is a great place to be!

 

Viva Las Vegas!

4 Sep

Anna and I spent the last 4 days in Vegas and we had a blast!  But it was hot-hot-hot … over 100 every day … and yes it is a “dry” heat … but it was still HOT!

Our little adventure started off kind of rocky though … our flight was suppose to leave at 2 pm on Thursday; however, just as they announced boarding … we found out some cheese ball from the previous flight had taken the exit sign over the door of the plane as a souvenier and without it we couldn’t fly!

We didn’t leave Mpls until 6:30 pm that evening!  But no worries … we were in Vegas by 9 pm.

Louie Anderson (famous Minnesota comedian) was going to be on our flight … but when the exit sign went missing so did Louie … we found out later he had a show to do that night … oh well, it was fun to see him standing around waiting just like the rest of us.

We went to 2 shows, saw a Picasso exhibit at the Belagio, went to Hoover Dam/Lake Mead, went to Madame Toussoue’s wax museum, spent a couple hours at the pool, gambled just a little (at the penny slots), explored too many casinos to mention, ate at numerous buffets, and did lots of walking.  All in all a great trip.  We actually traveled quite well together and didn’t get on each other’s nerves (well not too much).

A funny story while at Hoover Dam … before we left I got the very strong sense that Liz was going to be a part of our trip in some way … however, once we got to Vegas we were so busy I didn’t give it much thought.  We had just finished the dam tour (no pun intended) and were in the very cheesy gift shop … Anna was looking at the key chains with names on them … amazingly they actually had one with the name ANNA on it.  I couldn’t resist and looked to see if they had one with the name ELIZABETH.  They did … I just ran my fingers over it, and let out a little sigh … suddenly this voice in my head said “I’m dead — I don’t need a key chain!”

I just broke out laughing … it was very true and completely unexpected.

We got home last night at 10 pm … again our plane was late … suppose to leave at 2 pm; however, we boarded at 3 pm but didn’t actually take off until 3:40 pm …the joys of mass transit.

It is good to be home though … Vegas is fun … but only for a few days … I like the real world much better.

Roger had a great time on his fishing trip as well  … thankfully he caught fish but nothing that will be taking up permanent residence on a wall in our home!

LIFE IS GOOD!