Denver Update

I often talk about ‘the unknown’ with workshop participants and clients.  As humans, we often paint a picture of the ‘unknown’ to be a terrible, horrible place.  And it will be, if that is what you believe your ‘unknown’ to be.  It will also be an incredible and amazing place, way better than the place you are right now, if you just believe it and focus upon it.  You know…that thing called a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Well, I am grappling with my own ‘unknown.’  While I know that I will eventually move to Denver, I truthfully don’t know when.   It all hangs in the balance of finding new tenants for my townhome rental in Libertyville.  Since I am not independently wealthy and cannot afford a mortgage in Chicago and rent in Denver, the reality is that I cannot afford to move to Denver until I get new tenants.

But wait!  There’s more!  Back in July, I made the decision to postpone my move to Denver in order to help my dad move to a more manageable property and to hold an estate sale to empty his house so that the house can be put up for sale.  Well, about a week after I made that decision, my dad decided that he was not moving, and he did not want to hold an estate sale.  In essence, he had no clue what he wanted. And, in essence, I had no clue what to do with myself for the next month.

With nothing scheduled for August, because I was supposed to be settling into an apartment in Denver or I was supposed to be preparing for an estate sale and moving my father to a new home, I was forced to operate in limbo for more than a month.  All of my things were packed away.  I had been living with only the essentials, since I had fully intended to move.  It is like perpetually waiting for some big event to happen that never comes.

The new plan is to definitely head to Denver if I get new tenants by October 1st.  If not, I will remain in Chicago until May.  With the rental market as tight as it is in Denver, and the optimal window for finding an apartment gone (May – August), it just made more sense to stay until the timing was optimal.  Besides, I don’t really want to move furniture in the middle of a potential snow storm!

So, here I am, in September, in limbo, unable to really plan anything.  I could plan a bunch of in-person workshops but it would definitely go against my value of integrity if I had to cancel on people who were counting on me to be there.  While I have plenty of online workshops scheduled for September and October, my focus, during the month of August, had been on writing a new business plan, setting new goals, and working on a media kit and public relations.  The fruits of that labor won’t be seen until I am further down the road, but I have comfort in knowing that I did not waste the gift of time that I had been given.  After all, I had also used that time to connect with people I had not seen in a long time, which helped me to move forward through the hurdles I was constantly jumping.

What about you?  What have been your challenges this year?  What are you currently struggling with?

Share.  Connect.  Learn.  Grow.

Letters to my Soul…

OMG!  OK Soul, I must be on the edge of a breakthrough, or maybe just on the edge!  Every week is another roller coaster ride!  Some days, I am on the top of the roller coaster, motivated and ‘rockin’ it!’  Other days, I am speeding to the bottom and I don’t want to get out of bed or even move toward anything that would feel ‘up’.  The fact that I am experiencing one extreme and then another makes me think that I am battling a tug of war with YOU, my soul, and this thing called being human!  Hopefully, I will breakthrough soon, and hopefully, my breakthrough means that I am so much more connected to you!

What do you want to say to your soul?

Share.  Connect.  Learn.  Grow.

The Moment

What has the universe delivered to you in an unexpected way?

This was the moment. It’s certainly not a moment I ever dreamed about or looked forward to however I suppose, after the turn of events I had experienced in the last year, I had certain expectations for how this day, this moment, might go.

My entire family, which is quite small, took two cars up to Wisconsin; about 20 -25 miles North of the Wisconsin Dells on Castle Rock Lake. On the way up there, I couldn’t help but notice what a perfect day it was. 75 degrees and sunny. Not a cloud in the sky. It was as if we ordered this weather and it was delivered even better than we requested. With the feeling of bright sunshine all around us, we arrived at the Dirty Turtle, and ordered our lunch while they showed us the pontoon boat we were to rent for the next four hours. This part certainly did not go as expected at all. We had extremely poor service and were practically ignored. From the time we arrived to the time we took off on the boat, it took us over an hour to get both our food and the keys to the boat.

Frustrated and hungry, we all piled onto the boat with our food. The boys (4 of them) were excited to take off so that they could jump into the water. They couldn’t wait to go swimming, discover hidden treasures, and splash the adults with water. The adults (4 of us) were hungry and wolfed our food down as my brother drove the boat out onto the open water. The dog was very interested in jumping in the water however none of us had ever seen him go in the water before, and none of us wanted to be the one to fish him out if he did, so he was relinquished to the boundaries of the boat.

We found a nice little spot and dropped anchor. The kids jumped right in with their life vests on. (Again, none of the adults wanted to fish any kids out of the water either! Thank God for life vests!) The adults relaxed and finished up their meals. We all enjoyed seeing the boys having so much fun splashing about. One of them asked if there were fish in the lake. One of us replied, “Yes, lots of them.” While another adult began going into the details about a particular type of fish. Their thoughts were cut off so as not to scare the children about what they could have a chance encounter with.
We knew this wasn’t the spot or the moment. It just wasn’t special enough. So, we got everyone back on the boat and moved on. Ahead of us was a small island so, we headed for the island. There were lots of boats anchored around this island. In fact, it had a depth of about four feet on one side where you could see people walking between their boats and the island. We puttered over to the back of the island and sent the kids off to explore while the adults stayed on the boat. Just as the kids were arriving at the island, my sister and I Iooked at each other and we just knew. I said, “I think this should be the spot.” She said, “I think so too. The island would help us find this spot again. It could be mom’s island.”
None of us had ever had any experience with this. There was no script on what to do or how to do it. Truthfully, I think all of us were in a certain level of denial about this moment and hadn’t really planned anything other than to get ourselves out there on this lake at the same time, which was a minor miracle in itself.

My sister read the poem that we had given out to everyone at my mom’s Celebration of Life back in December. That’s when the waterworks started. In this moment, I sorely missed my mom, felt comforted by the presence of her, felt comforted by the shared loss we were all experiencing, and wanted to be alone all at the same time. My sister took out the special cup we brought for this occasion and took a scoop of my mom’s ashes. She said a few meaningful words and spilled her ashes into the water. Now it was my turn. It was a weird, creepy, and somehow comforting feeling all mixed into one as I delicately scooped up a cup of my mom’s ashes. It was as if I thought she was fragile at this point. She was fragile to me because this was all we had left of her. As I poured my scoop of mom over the side of the boat I said something like, “This is the place you wanted to be mom! Be free,” and then promptly began balling. My brother and father did something similar and we all had our moment with mom. This gorgeous day, this beautiful lake, this sweet little island, this incredible moment….there it was.

It is no coincidence that we picked Castle Rock Lake. My parents had purchased land just off the shore but for reasons that would take too long to explain, they never built anything on their property. Just the same, this is exactly the kind of day my mom would have wanted to share with all of us. She had always wanted to rent a pontoon boat, bring the entire family, including the dog, and see everyone have a good time jumping into the water and having fun. This was the day she envisioned, and she finally got it. She was there, just not exactly the way she thought she would be there. The Universe is funny that way. It always delivers what you are asking for, it just may not be delivered exactly as you envisioned it.

What has the universe delivered to you in an unexpected way?

Have you chosen to embrace it? How?

Share your story! It will be a gift to other readers, and a gift to yourself for setting your story free!