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Tenn2014_2So off I went again on another road trip (you know how I love those), this time to Tennessee to visit baby brother and family this Memorial Day weekend. He's a veteran in the US Army and I wanted to be in a military atmosphere to celebrate this memorable day. Clarkesville, Tennessee is a military town and wonderful place to be. Tenn2014_3

Tennessee is beautiful -- at least the part of Tennessee that I always visit. That's Clarkesville. It's quiet, calm, beautiful, wide open land, greenery everywhere...just a wonderful place to be.

Tweeting birds and scampering bunnies are all over the place. The smell of honeysuckle fills the air almost everywhere you go. Yards are well kept with carefully manicured gardens, and lots of land space front and back for frolicking.

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Another great aspect of my road trip is the interesting sightings along the way. How I wish that I could capture them all to share with you! People are really interesting and creative for sure. Tenn2014_4

This atmosphere fits right in with my 50-plus lifestyle with my love for the outdoors. As a baby-boomer, I don't like being indoors all the time; gotta have my outdoorsie time! My parents and other elders in my family mostly spent their time indoors but that's just not my style.

I've traveled to other states but none satisfies me more when it comes to just wanting to be outside for an entire day like Clarkesville, Tennessee does. The Caribbean does this for me as well - but that's outside of the United States.  It's usually my place to be each 4th of July.  However, I couldn't resist the temptation to be there this Memorial Day weekend to get a full whiff of Spring there.

Road trips are invigorating.  As I age, I crave all the things that keeps my mind fresh and road trips are one of the many things that does this for this middle-ager.  In fact, many middle-agers go full-force into road trips.  For example, in this picture above of this couple riding the yellow motorbike, they were middle-agers going on a joy ride.  In fact, we saw several of them along the way - some with music playing while whisking by.

I wonder if I would be brave enough to hop on one of these.  Hmmm...my middle-aged crisis setting in here?

Coconutree_2I have caught island fever! Just returned from a trip to my homeland (Jamaica) and am already planning the next one!

How I stayed away so long, I don’t understand.  My visits have been far and few over the years and I’m now wondering how come.

Jamaica is such a beautiful island.  The fresh air.  The beach.  The food.  The people.  The … everything!  I had such a wonderful 7 days and was almost upset when it was time to go.  The trip was my best experience yet, as I visited places I have never been to before.  Yes – even though it’s the place of my birth, there are places I have never been.  That’s about to change for sure.

I’m even seeing where my eating habits would be exactly the way I want it to be, as there’s a huge variety of fruits and veges there.  Freshly grown produce by local farmers are in abundance.  For meat eaters, grass-feed cows are everywhere.  Freshly caught fish from the fishermen that swim right in as you relax right there on the beach is one of the most heavenly experiences.  The fish gets cooked while you wait with music playing in the background right along with a lovely breeze that is always blowing.

You can’t put a price on this wonderful experience; you simply cannot.  I want to have this experience more often so I will be visiting more often.   DoctorsCaveArt

 

I attended my second retreat that was designed for spiritual enrichment and focus on entrepreneurship and self. Money well spent!  An incredibly rich experience it was.  This was held in the countryside in the hills in my hometown, Jamaica, at a historic great house called The Bromley.

www.liberatedbitches.com were the designers of this awesome event.  Since co-authoring How She Got Free: A 5-step Spiritual Business Manual for Women Who Lead Through Entrepreneurship—a bestseller on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble—the duo has gathered audiences of women in various stages of entrepreneurship to teach, guide, and inspire on the process and benefits of creating sound Standards, Systems, and Structures™ both personally and professionally.

These women curate and cultivate dialogue around the practice of spiritual entrepreneurship, and provide live and digital opportunities for women to increase their knowledge and their network around legacy-building and living well.

It was the experience of a lifetime. I happened to be the only 50-plus woman in the group and I never felt more welcomed.  All the women there but one, were in their 30s, the other being in her mid-20s.  I drew so much from these women and they drew so much from me, proving that we can all learn from each other, no matter what our ages may happen to be.

They craved my wisdom - they said, which of course was gained from my many life experiences and thanked me wholeheartedly for willingness to share and just for being among them.  I couldn't have been in a better place.  We laughed, cried, expressed our joys, fears, sorrows, etc., hugged and comforted each other and just basked in the moment we were experiencing.

We did yoga on a private beach which we had all to ourselves and again in a secluded spot in the hills with an awesome actor/dancer/teaching artist/yoga instructor, Lynnette R. Freeman; had a moving session with relationship coach Monique Halley of www.simplyblissliving.com ; ate delicious vegetarian meals three times per day for the entire four days and three nights we were there; had deep-tissue massages by an awesome local masseuse and tarot card reading.  Each night we danced vigorously on the verandah overlooking the hills, to the sweet sound of Jamaican reggae music that belted out from the valley below as we drank wine and natural Jamaican fruit juices.

The most powerful event of the retreat-- the bonfire into which we threw and watch burn, all of the "not it shits" we no longer wanted in our lives. We wrote them down, said them out loudly then threw them into the raging bonfire, not moving a muscle until we were SURE we could actually see them burned to ashes! There were shouts, tears, laughter, praying, dancing--just complete rejoicing after letting go of those demons that had been holding us down.

I'm already looking forward to my next retreat. CLICK HERE to learn how you can come join us at the next retreat!

I missed this year’s annual planting of my Spring garden with my grand daughters.  For some strange reason though, that feeling and urge to still do some planting kept hammering at me.  So, the Spring season came and went.  Summer came and went as well and  I managed to suppress the strong urge for those two seasons.  Then came Autumn, and the urge to plant only got stronger and stronger.

To make matters worse, I took a trip to New York for my younger cousin’s wedding and happened to swing by a childhood friend's home nearby.  She took me outside to her backyard and immediately, an out-of-body experience took place.  My "planting urge" hit me almost to the ground when I saw Marie’s beautifully planted yard!  The front was filled with beautiful zinnias and other colorful flowers too numerous to mention.  Her backyard was also filled with flowers, and there were vegetables and fruits of all description.  Mind you, my backyard is three times the size of hers, yet she managed to fill her entire yard with maybe up to four times more than I would have done in mine!   She had various types of herbs, vegetables, fruits, edible and inedible flowers which gave the yard the feeling of just wanting to spread a blanket and just laying there the entire day.

I spent three days at Marie’s house (of course canceling my prior arrangement to stay elsewhere) and just couldn't get enough of this beautifully planted-up yard.  I began to wish that I lived in New York -- that I lived next door to Marie's beautiful yard.  I also wished I didn’t have to leave!  I wanted to see this yard every single day!  This was my new inspiration!

I couldn’t wait to get home to finally release this monster inside of me to plant, plant, plant!  I know Winter is only a few months away, but that's no deterrent to me.  I’ll just have to find Fall-friendly flowers and vegetables to plant so I can release the tension I'm having in my green thumb this year.

It's on now!!

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Letting my time in-between visits stretch out for too long, I had almost forgotten how much of a wonderful time can be had visiting Jamaica. I had the pleasure of going there this past Labor Day weekend for the Yoga Camp; Wellness Retreat #CCLJamaica at the Bromley house in St. Ann.

The country-side home where we stayed was gorgeous. Words cannot describe how beautiful, peaceful, calming and fragrant the air was. The sound of cows mooing over yonder, reggae music playing in the hills, birds chirping all day long, coupled with the fantastic view of the lush, green hills.

This was truly a time to pay attention to self, relax and just simply - - chill. As organizer, Takeyah Young of Core Connection Lifestyle put it, “It was a time to go within, tap into that which resonates at your core and take action.” The vegan-style menu for all three daily meals, yoga at the house and on the beach, the one-on-one coaching sessions, the Take Living Personally workshop by Takeyah, and Akilah Richards of www.Execumama.com fame's Live Your Grain workshop all made this retreat an event to never, ever forget.

I’m still in #CCLJamaica mode. What a wonderful time it was!

 

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We drove to Clarkesvill, TN again this weekend - just a one-day trip this time - and on the way back, listened to "The Slight Edge" audio book by Jeff Olson. What a lesson! Now, due to inclement weather, a 4-hour trip took us 7 hours...yes, 7 hours but you know, I didn't mind at all!!

This is an audio book that I have listened to before but somehow, this time, I heard things I didn't those times before. Of particular interest was the portion on Harnessing the Power of habit. We certainly do many things by just sheer habit and if we could just adopt good ones...really good ones...we'd surprise ourselves.

Another subject - Harnessing the power of celebration! My goodness. I sat like a sponge, sopping it all up. Forget about Harnessing the power of reflection!

My friends, if you have never listened to this audio book, I invite you to go ahead. I'm not done listening yet. I've put it aside for the next couple days due to upcoming mid-term exams. By Thursday, I'll be back at it.

So, move over...to the slight edge!!

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