Visiting

I come from a long line of visitors. As a child, my dad took me to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. My paternal uncle, Fr. Ron, picked us up on Sunday afternoons to go visiting. With a white plastic collar tucked into his solid black shirt, we knew Fr. Ron was off the clock and it was time to visit relatives as well as friends.

Back in the day, visiting was the way people communicated. “Stopping by” was not frowned upon, it was welcomed. I can picture my mom standing at the stove as my dad and Uncle Jerry had a few beers at the kitchen table. Conversation and preparation went hand in hand.

In my travels, I’ve been fortunate to be welcomed by my friends and family. A former roommate in Las Vegas said, “You sure know lots of people.” I replied, “Yes, mostly along each coast and the midwest, but that’s enough territory for me to cover.”

It is extra special when others visit me in Arizona. Thankfully, I have a traveling family. Some of the kids haven’t made it out, while others have taken the journey without adults in tow. For my 50th birthday, 19 members of my family traveled to Phoenix for the weekend to celebrate ME. I was shocked, amazed, and so happy. I never felt so much love.

For my sister Jan’s 50th birthday I surprised her by showing up in Chicago. As a gift, I placed two envelopes in front of her, one with a 50 dollar bill, the other with an invitation to come to my house for dinner. Initially, her hand rested on one envelope, but at the last minute she moved to the other. A TRIP TO AZ was in the works. Jan, Dale, Lor and a “surprise” visitor, my dad. I was so happy to have a small birthday party for Jan at my home. Jan had said, “Well, it’s not like I don’t see you.” I replied, “Yeah, but I come to your house, I’m glad to have you in mine.”

My brother T and his daughter Lindsey are the latest visitors. In the planning stages, I recognized how much AZ has to offer and how happy I am to share time with my family at my home. That doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but I am certainly thrilled to share my life, to show others what I see daily.

The other day I learned that my nieces and nephews do visit, they just do it differently. Lindsey explained Snap Chat to me. I knew it involved pictures but never  stories. That’s how they visit. Although I prefer the old fashion way, I was thrilled to hear that the kids share their lives with each other.

When I moved out west to go to school, I quickly realized my good fortune. I have family and friends who want to visit, who share their lives with me and who allow me to share mine. Visiting is not overrated. In my view, it is the greatest gift of all. Sharing time in my home is something I value and I am happy to have had the opportunity to be welcomed by so many near and far. I appreciate all of you. Be well… NMT

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Hope

The first time I felt hope in a big way was in the back of an ambulance in 1982. I had just fallen off a cliff.* When my body did not respond to my pleas to move so that the boulder stabbing me in the back would stop causing me pain, I felt hopeless. While being rescued a female paramedic shared her history. She had broken her back and she was out saving lives. As the ambulance sped away, hope trickled into my veins. A glimmer of hope twinkled in my mind. I knew, if she could do it, I could do it. There was hope.

As a birthday gift to myself, I started the Oprah-Chopra 21day meditation** on April 10, 2017. Deepak Chopra has been in my life since 1987. His voice, his essence, his spirit resonate with me. I hear what he has to share. Therefore, the Hope meditation became my morning ritual. In the evening, I listened again, taking notes. It had a powerful healing presence in my life. The meditation allowed me to be present, which is what I needed after living abroad for months. To treasure what was right in front of me; that gave me hope for where I am, what I am doing, and how to be better for myself in this life.

At first, I thought hope was arbitrary. To grasp a better understanding of the word, the concept, the presence of hope, I looked it up in the dictionary. Hope is the feeling of trust. That description resonated with me. To trust myself, to trust my gut, to trust in life. Each day, the meditation helped me to understand hope on a different level,  to see the world in a better light, to know that it’s always there no matter the circumstances. Living in hope is trusting what I feel. Hope helped me to release wounds from the past, and get to know more about me in the present moment.

Meditation provides a focal point, words, and actions that assist me. It calms me down when life starts to speed up. A few Hope meditation gems:

Flex your choice muscle.

Get comfortable in uncomfortable spaces.

When uncomfortable ask: What is life showing me?

Overcoming conventional thinking is how new possibilities emerge.

View yourself as open and welcoming.

Be willing to live NOW.

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is to celebrate and praise.

Swim with the flow of life, not against the current.

Success is getting to the point where you are absolutely comfortable with yourself.

To live a compassionate life is to see others as you.

Life is constantly in a state of renewal.

I accept where I am.

Are you dimming someone’s light by putting on them what you want?

Be a light onto yourself. ~ Buddha

We see the world through our inner child’s eyes.

Tap into the innocence to release the past.

Look at what you see in others and see how it reflects in yourself.

Life is better when you share it.

Listen for the signals, the whispers to guide you.

Forgiveness ~ Giving up the hope that the past could have been different.

To slow time, take a breath.

Living in the light all the time is Enlightenment.

We can embody the energy we wish to experience.

Everything in the world is showing up to show us who we are and who we choose to be.

I hope you enjoyed the meditations and that you connect more to yourself and the world each and every day. Be well… Nancy T

** Oprah-Chopra 21 Day Meditation: https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience