Sweet Dreams are Made of This…

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This last year I chose to focus on having a healthy relationship with God, myself, my children, my family, food, and money.

I began by asking myself if am I acting out of obligation, duty, guilt and or fear and if so, I practiced responding differently.

Two days ago my friend wanted me to agree with her perspective. I perceived her situation as unhealthy. Instead of me agreeing with her out of guilt for fear she would be mad at me, I let her have her feelings and let her know even though I disagreed with her situation, I still valued our friendship.

Last night I specifically dedicated my meditation towards the intention of having healthy relationships.

In my dream, I dreamt I ran over my glasses. I interpreted this to mean I destroyed the crutch of my outdated perception.

That morning I received a text from my friend that was honest and sincere, owning her intention for me to agree with her and requesting her need for space. It was so refreshing.

As I continue to open up to living a more healthy and balanced life, it is being reflected in my relationships.

#youhavejustarrived #author #yourlifeinbalance

 

Enjoy the Ride

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Me and my employer.   See video link below.

I was moving to Florida and looking for employment connections in the Sarasota area. I was given a couple of leads by a friend of mine so I contacted the agencies. One agency was eager to talk with me but we were in the middle of playing a game of phone tag. I was also shopping for a vehicle and had not yet found one to my liking. I was currently living with my brother and he kindly offered me his truck if I needed to get around. All I had to do was ask for the keys.

The day the owner of the agency called me I did not have the keys to my brother’s truck. She asked if I could meet her at noon for a lunch/interview. Evergreen Cafe is really close to where you’re living. With confidence, I said sure I will meet you there. I hung up the phone and googled the address. This is great!  I can walk. It’s only one mile from my brother’s apartment. I planned to arrive 15 minutes ahead of time to look over the menu so I could be totally present when she arrived.

I set out on foot, following Mapquest’s perfectly designed route to a RESIDENTIAL AREA?!  Not unless the Evergreen Cafe is located in someone’s back yard Mapquest has led me astray.  Whether or not I just tempted fate, it was time to let go of a perfectly designed plan of playing it cool.

I called her up. Hey, I laughed. Have you noticed I am not where you are? She chuckled, yes I have. I either typed a digit wrong into Mapquest or I misunderstood you. She said, no problem let me give you the address and I will stay on the phone with you until you get here. I coughed up my dilemma, I am on foot. She questioned, you are? She gave up our table reservation and announced, I will come get you. Back at the restaurant, we had a great conversation and she seemed to enjoy interviewing me as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. She claimed, I think we would make a great team, I agree, I smiled. I sign the employment contract and we laughed at the synchronicity of life’s encounters.

Back at the restaurant, we had a great conversation and she seemed to enjoy interviewing me as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. She claimed, I think we will make a great team, I smiled and we shook hands.  As she drove me back to the apartment we laughed at the synchronicity of life’s encounters.

The moral of the story, let go and enjoy the ride.

Life is meant to have enjoy.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10210400464305633&id=1163975251

Let My Spirit Carry Me

A Night With a Mosquito

Why am I here?
What is mine to do?
I have been told that in the silence I will find my way.
For me the silence is peace and chaos.
It takes me everywhere and no where.
I find my way and yet I am lost in the expansiveness of it’s vast abyss.
Who am I?
I feel I have everything
And yet I have nothing.                                                                                                                                 It seems as though I do not have anything to offer.

Why am I here?
What is mine to do?

My friend Shar Dewkinandan from Amsterdam reminded me of an African Proverb.

If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito.

Come I say, let us make a difference and leave our mark on humanity.

 

 

 

Hos(styling)

When I share with people that I often stay in youth hostels when I travel, they say, I thought those were for 18-26-year-olds. Well not anymore. They now attract people from 18-80 years of age, and it doesn’t matter if you’re single, you’re sporting your spouse or you brought your family

When my children graduated from high school, I took each of them on a trip. I wanted them to be educated on the joys of traveling on a budget hos(styling) it. My daughter and I stayed on 42nd Street in New York City for less than $45 per night. My son and I stayed at a hostel in downtown Chicago for around $30 per night. But hostels do not only offer an inexpensive place to stay. They also offer exotic experiences.

Over the years, I have stayed in a teepee on Vancouver Island, Canada, a chuck wagon on Vashon Island, Washington, a Ship in Stockholm, Sweden, The Big Tent in Heidelberg, Germany and a bungalow in Bali just to name a few. The prices range from as little as $5.00 per night to $50.00 or more per night depending on what part of the world you are traveling to and if you are willing to share a room and a bathroom or if you would like your privacy.

Hostels also provide cultural entertainment as you will meet people from all over the world and if you allow yourself the opportunity to connect with others in conversation you can experience an adventure of a lifetime.

The key is to be flexible.  The best adventures I ever had is when I didn’t plan anything.  I got up the day of, met someone during breakfast, shared ideas of places to visit and we said yes to sharing a ride or exploring a destination together. I recently experienced a kick scooter tour through Singapore.  When you are traveling alone its fun to have the opportunity to share your experience with others.

My most recent Youth Hostel episode granted me a trip to Art in Paradise a 3 D museum in Chiang Mai with an Australian chap named Darryn. I said yes to an adventure and the two of us set off on foot site seeing our way to the museum.  The trip to the museum gave us the opportunity to take some great pictures for each other.

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The next day I joined a group of four random guests from the hostel all from different parts of the world and we hired a driver for an all day excursion. All six of us squeezed inside a 4×4 extended cab pickup truck and away we went on a 4.5 hour drive to see the White Buddhist temple, visited the Chiang Rai Mai Hill Tribes in Chiang Rai and we took a boat ride down the Mekong River to the Golden Triangle where the waters of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos merge . We later docked the boat to shop the village markets in Laos.  It turned out to be an adventure of a lifetime

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The White Temple

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Chiang Rai Hill tribe

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Boat ride on Mekong River

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Infused Cobra venom whiskey for sale in the Laos Market

I highly recommend checking into a hostel and if you are one of those people who tend to plan your trips, try something different and say yes to exploring life on a whim. You too just might have a novel experience you will never forget.

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift of Change

Emilia and I are on our way to visit her friend Uti one more time before I leave. We had discussed the night before about taking my motorbike, and we are now ready to depart, and she is trying to change my mind. Emilia wants to take her car, but the traffic is heavy. I say to her it’s only a 20-minute ride on my bike, but it will be an hour ride in your car, I could tell she was apprehensive about riding the bike as she stammers, Uti’s house is far, it’s 5 miles.

Emilia shares with me, “before I left my house this morning, I said to God, I maybe die today.” I looked at her as if modeling for Monet and screamed; you actually put that in the air? We cannot go for a ride with that energy looming over our heads like “Pig Pen’s” fog. You pray five times a day and have invested far more than I. Can you borrow from your investment and stop putting that dark energy in the air, I bargained?

She says Trina; I am so hot. I said, Emilia, I understand you are wearing four layers of clothes. She says to me I don’t want anyone to see my legs. I said, trust me, no will find them. She is wearing a hijab, a long sleeve shirt, a skirt, tights and toe socks. I am wearing a T-shirt and thin pants, and I am dying of heat. I am worried she is going to lose consciousness on the back of my bike, and I will loose my precious cargo.

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Emilia will admit that fears sometimes get the best of her. I don’t know why she conceded to challenge her fear at this moment, but she did, and we mounted my steed and off we went.

Five minutes into the ride I ask Emilia are you ok back there. She leans forward and shouts hey if you get tired I will drive. We both are laughing now. I said, are you having fun? She shouts, Trina; I feel so free, and I am enjoying my adventure with you.

We arrived at Uti’s house safe and sound. Emilia runs to the front door, and we are greeted by Uti and her family. Emilia is jumping up and down like she won the lottery. She looks at me and says they cannot believe we came on a bike.

When it is time for us to head back home, I hear thunder and lightning. I said we will have to wait. She looks at me with a smile and says I don’t care it will be fun, and it’s our last adventure. I have now discovered the reason behind why she conceded to ride.

I told her how much I respected her willingness to exercise her courage and ride the bike. I asked her if she will continue to ride a bike after I am gone and she said, maybe Trina, you have changed me. I looked at her and said we have changed each other, my friend, “you have opened my heart to a culture different than my own.”

 

Thank You Indonesia

 

Its a bitter sweet goodbye for now. Whether we meet again in this life time or the next. Thank you my friends.  I am heading back to my homeland in a week.  I am excited to reconnect with my family and friends back home. Indonesia you have been my home away from home. You fed me spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically, you cheered me on, you kept me safe, you rescued me, supported me, enlightened me, guided me and listened to me. We laughed and played, we expressed love and appreciation for our differences, we shared our dreams and desires for our future and most of all we shared respect for each other. I want to pay tribute to this archipelago of love. You opened my heart and opened your arms and the words THANK YOU can never truly express the gratitude I have for the gifts I am taking home.

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It was an honor and a privilege to work along side this amazing young man.  Thank you Tobin

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My confidant, friend, travel guide, Yin yoga teacher, and photographer. Thank you Audrey.

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Nurlifa and Siti my security guards.  Grace and the Gang From PetLove Clinic
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My neighbor Emilia and family                   This little guys I met at a drive by wedding.

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I taught these little guys some signs language at a small village school in Puncak

Thank you, Rudolf, Kiki, Stacy and all my other animal friends who taught me how to open my heart.

 

 

 

 

A Year of Saying “Yes”

 

A year of saying “Yes.”  This year has been one of the most challenging and life altering years of my life.
A friend said to me the other day, Trina you have done more in the short time you have been here then most expats do living here for 25 years. He was referring to emerging myself in the Indonesian culture. I would have to admit I have said yes more than I have said no.
I have been invited…

*to attend weddings whether invited or     uninvited.
* to become an audience member for the filming of a Japanese tea ceremony.
* to teach yoga to a group of senior citizens.
* to chaperone a group of kids on a bird watching tour.
* to film surgeries by a Javanese medicine man
* to hike an active volcano
* to demonstrate how to make latte art prior to the opening of a neighborhood coffe shop.
* to teach a group of Indonesian men how to play Slap Jack.
* to write a blog
*And to commit to telling my story by writing a book.
The common denominator between the 1st and the last invitation was the willingness to say”yes.”
It’s all been a part of my commitment this year to letting go of my fears.

Today is my birthday and I accepted an invitation to co-facilitate a two week detox program for Green Hill Holistic Healing Center in Cipanas, West Java, Indonesia.

Thank you Indonesia for inviting me into your home again and again and again.

I love you.

Jamu, The All Natural Apothecary of Indonesia

A day of learning how to nourish the body with Jamu medicine.

Jamu is a traditional medicine derived from natural ingredients like roots, bark, seeds, leaves, flowers, fruit, honey and sometimes eggs and milk are used depending on your ailment.

I have had it either warm or cold, bitter or sweet. Most of the time it’s sweet and you learn to either love it or hate it.

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I could cure myself of any ailment with these Jamu concoctions. The basket was full of fried pastries filled with sugar, a gaurantee I would be back for more medicine.

Next, the dried herb market.

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Look at the picture below. Can you guess the benefit of this herb?

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This is a black chili, used for male stamina.  Place your orders now; there weren’t many left in the bin.

The final lesson for the day, learning how to give me a facial by grinding sticky rice and cinnamon to make a paste.

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I tried to convince the instructor that the method of ingesting this paste would give my stomach lining a facial as well.

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While we waited for the paste to dry, the instructor gave me one last treat.  Indonesian Jamu sex education 101.

She asked me to look at everything displayed in front of me, by looking at the packaging, could I describe their advantages.  Your turn.  Have fun!

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Thai Chi

Thai Chi is a form of martial arts known for its self-defense techniques, and it’s health benefits. It’s considered a “meditation in motion.”
It’s precise movements choreographed with the breath invite peace and harmony to those who practice this dance.

I started taking Thai Chi classes and my teacher is a Chinese Saint. He is very patient, very kind and very forgiving of a white girl who can’t dance.
I am just a sayin’ I am not a ballerina on the dance floor. I learned how to dance waiting for the bathroom.

We go over and over a few basic moves and then he decides to throw a cog in a less than well-oiled machine.
I have now added courageous to his attributes. He decides to lend me his antique sword from the Qing Dynasty and says, be mindful, yours has a tip! At least that’s what I think he is saying in Chinese, because he is pointing at the end of the sword, and when I look at everyone else’s, and no one has a sharp tip but mine. What? No, I say, I think I would be better suited for the Nerf edition. He just smiles and bows. He must have an ulterior motive.

You don’t believe this white girl can’t dance do you?

 

…and if you haven’t maimed or killed your classmates, you get to play with fans.