Month: March 2019

Saturday morning in Paonia

Saturday morning with no itinerary, I lay on the bed listening to the sounds around me. I was in the attic bedroom of a house where my friend was house-sitting. The air was warm and the bed cozy, so I was in no hurry. Gradually, the urge to get up came over me, so I dressed, made the bed, and went downstairs.

View from my bedroom window.

The house seems to be a renovated farmhouse, but it’s difficult to say for certain. A thing that I enjoyed on this morning was a large sunroom with windows all around that went from floor to ceiling.

It was early and light on the snow was blue. Trees and fence posts were gray and faded into the distance. A layer of clouds still covered the mountains.

There were books everywhere in the house. Shelves and tables held hundreds of volumes, which made me think that I might like these people. Also, there was a pour over coffee setup, which I made use of.

My friend rose later, maybe seven-thirty or eight o’clock, and we started talking over coffee. The conversation ranged from common friends to the journals that she makes and on to a ton of other things. All the while, I watched the light grow and clouds break up to reveal the fabulous mountains that surround Paonia. Finally, about one o’clock, we decided that we should really get something to eat, and I should get things ready to go back to Denver.

After we each had showered and I had gathered my things, we jumped into her car and she drove me around the outlying area. She said that the North Fork Valley is called the Banana Belt of Colorado, due to its moderate temperatures. This, I could readily observe, if I could look past the blanket of snow.

For lunch, we went to a little place called The Living Farm Cafe. It’s owned by a farming family in the valley, and much of the food served there comes directly from that farm. I had Lamb Enchiladas, which were excellent, paired with a splendid syrah from local Stone Cottage Cellars.

After lunch, we drove back to the house and I climbed into Grace’s driver’s seat, a bit sad for the leaving, but I know I’ll be back soon.

In the meanwhile…Enjoy the Life you’re living.

Morning Mindfulness

Recently, on VagabondStew, I posted my morning routine. As I was posting, I realized that it really is a meditative and mindful time. From the moment I wake up, until I’m in the driver’s seat rolling out, there are several times when I take time to notice the moment.

My time living in the forest, has helped me to become more mindful and aware of what’s happening right now.

Dont get me wrong. I do spend time imagining the future. Building a comprehensive image is vital to achieving the imperatives. Still, in order to function best, I also need to stay anchored.

Making my bed, for instance, is a time to focus, paying attention to pull the sheets and blankets tight, tuck the sheet in on the side, smooth out the pillows. I notice the different textures of cotton and wool, pillows and mattress, areas that are cool or warm.

This is important because it puts my mind into a task focused mode, along with the immediately tactile dynamic. I am grateful for this wonderful bed that I have.

Another way that my mornings are mindful is in the time I spend sitting or lying still on my bed, melding into my environment. I notice what’s happening around me – sounds, wind – and feeling the calm that comes with that. Again, I express my gratitude.

When I step out of my little sleeping pod, into the world, it is still dark. The million stars shimmer overhead. Some mornings it is frigid cold and I dont have time to properly take it in. Most days, though, I can gaze up. Naming familiar constellations, I wonder about the names of other stars.

At the same time, I attend the feel of the air. Is it brisk, or soft? Are there fragrances and what are they? I notice sounds, if there are any.

Up on the mountain, things are usually quiet, so early, but as the days lengthen and light creeps into the sky sooner, birds will waken and sing. I once found a moose standing in the midst of the meadow, just before dawn. Always, I am grateful.

Feeling and expressing gratitude is one of the most important and fundamental ways that we can build a more fulfilling life. If we arent grateful, we cant wonder why there’s so much negative in our lives.

Check out the post on VagabondStew.

If you’d like to learn more about bringing more positivity into your day, click over to the Contact page and drop me a note. I’ll get back to you quickly.

–==|Selah|==–


The Amazing Kreskin, Maxwell Maltz, and my Dad

The 1960s were all about the magic of the mind. We were fascinated by the subconscious and its hidden powers.

The Amazing Kreskin really did amaze us. When I was in sixth grade, Dad bought me this Kreskin’s ESP game/kit. The pendulum I always felt was hokey, but spent a lot of time with the cards.

Each had a color dot, or unique symbol, and we were supposed to discern (not guess) which color or symbol it was. Of course, I never mastered the thing, but it did awaken in me a curiosity about larger things.

In 1966, a cosmetic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz authored a book titled “Psycho-Cybernetics”. I remember seeing it around the house a lot. Also, Dad would do things, experimentally, to teach me.

Once, on a cool autumn evening, I was playing with friends and decided that I wanted to go into the house. As I came in the door, Dad was seated on the couch in the living room, to my right.

“Why did you come in?”, he asked.
“I dont know”, I replied, “Just felt like it.
He smiled and said,”I made you come in.”

He’d been experimenting with some of Maltz’s techniques, visualizing me coming through the door, and I did. Does that prove that Dad’s experiment worked? Of course not, but it was enough to pique my interest.

At 61, I still cant tell you what color underwear you’re wearing, or the name on the label, but I am very aware of an interpersonal connection that goes beyond the visual.

What brings me to this, today, is Maltz’s emphasis on Self-image. If there is one thing that I swear by, from all of those things, it’s that we can change our lives by changing the self-image.

In general, people who see themselves negatively, will have a more negative living experience than people with a positive self-image.

The last three years of my life are a testament to this. In 2015, I was in the darkest place of my life. Beaten down by circumstances, I’d taken on a victim mentality and felt absolutely like a waste of skin.

In 2016, I realized what was happening, and began to change that image. Since then, life has been a continuous chain of improving circumstances.

That isnt to say that nothing negative has happened. My car/home was stolen, and more, but it has all brought me further along a growth curve.

Today, I’m speaking to groups and leading mindfulness workshops. For a lot of this, I credit my dad, introducing me to the things I needed to know.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can read Dr. Maltz’s book, Psycho-Cybernetics. Of course, you can also contact me, and we can talk about ways that I might be able to help.

–==||Selah||==–