I have a Secret…

Life is too short to start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.

Bumppy.com

We all feel broken…

Does our brokenness ever heal…as I travel on this journey of growing healthier physically…with the important supporting emotional and spiritual advancement…I am finding that we (I) can recover…it is a choice…not everyone chooses to heal…wounds do contain manipulative values…

I have chosen not to remain a victim of my past…patience not being a strong suite…the process can be very irritating…I think that I have done the work for a particular issue and then out of nowhere…it pops it’s head up…remember the carnival game whack-a-mole…it feels like that on most days lately…

Not an instantaneous process…conscientious, continuous, and painstaking work…since my magic wand does not work in this realm…I must choose daily to move forward…toward my dream of freedom from the past…away from all the memories that keep me tied to the past with fears that as a human traveling this big blue sphere…I am not enough…always trying to prove my worth to the world…

I know where it came from…one of my first memories…was my father telling me that he wished that I had been a boy...I was the first in our family of six…(in his later life, my father was deeply sorry and apologetic about his earlier treatment of the family) …yet the unconscious beliefs weave their steel-like tendrils around my thoughts and like a boa constrictor…tighten themselves until the painful emotions cause me to relent with depression, uncertainties, worries, doubts, fears, and ambiguities…

In this world of illusion, I can become lost and imprisoned, a slave…past traumas behave like magicians…weaving spells that I can get lost in… a dark dense fog that seems impenetrable…I get lost sometimes…

Just because I have the emotion/thought does not mean that I must buy into it…I don’t have to accept it as reality…thoughts are automatic…we can choose not to accept them as concrete “truth”…but as the wispy morning mist that the sun dissipates once it rises…

“The place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light. And you have to work really, really, really hard to get there, but you can do it.” – Cheryl Strayed

There are two actions…well maybe three…that I have found helpful for moving into the sunshine…1) being mindful…in the moment. 2) engaging in what is important to me. 3) affirmations (sounds dorky, right).

Meditating and being mindful has been a lifesaver…instead of reliving past mistakes and hurts or imagining all the ways that life can pull the rug out from under me again…both are out of my control…and I have lost so much precious time and beauty already…I will not lose more…

My passion for photography…my dream of being an artist…getting lost in learning, improving…the process and my projects…bring such happiness that everything else fades…what is your dream…your passion project that you can lose yourself in…

Knowing that I am lacking in self-love…my feelings of unworthiness…I have been studying on how to change that…affirmations may be a part of a solution…those emotions of feeling unlovable have dug deep trenches in my brain…choosing to fill those neural pathways with little love thoughts…layer upon layer until the water doesn’t flow easily in that direction anymore…

 Because the truth is, we are all broken in places

Unlike this elephant, whose tusks once broken…will stay broken…we can heal… “We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” – Marianne Williamson

“The sun shall always rise upon a new day and there shall always be a rose garden within me. Yes, there is a part of me that is broken, but my broken soil gives way to my wild roses.” – C. JoyBell C.

The secret is…there is Hope…there is a future

We are all damaged. We have all been hurt. We have all had to learn painful lessons. We are all recovering from some mistake, loss, betrayal, abuse, injustice, or misfortune. All of life is a process of recovery that never ends. We each must find ways to accept and move through the pain and to pick ourselves back up. For each pang of grief, depression, doubt, or despair there is an inverse toward renewal coming to you in time. Each tragedy is an announcement that some goodwill indeed come in time. Be patient with yourself.” 

Bryant McGill

Color within the Darkness…Hope Arising

Lots of love, laughter and music (and magic)❣

Misty Morning

“Life is foggy; always try to see what lies behind the fog!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan

That dream-like state…you know you’re awake but then maybe not…the path is a little unclear and the mind feels dull and full of cobwebs…the days feel like you’ve been holding your breath because you forgot to breathe…and you might pass out any moment…that’s been the past several weeks…

I’m waiting for the sun to burn off the fog… yet I am enjoying this misty magical feeling…keep looking for the fairies and the unicorns to arrive any moment…

It’s been 2 1/2 years since my replanting to this beautiful South Africa…like any movie…adventures galore…some heart pounding, breathtakingly scary and some amazingly magnificently beautiful…but all I hold tightly in my heart…

Let’s see…

The last few months…not including the pandemic…cancer surgery, chemo…canceled trip home…we’ve recently renovated the house…and are still in the process…although we can now use the kitchen…had a helper quit unexpectedly…Mr. P’s crown and implant…6-month cancer checkup…my request for renewal of my visa application that was delayed due to the pandemic…which meant I couldn’t leave even if I needed to…applying with immigration for a wedding registration…YES!!!! Mr. P and I are getting married…nothing big…casual and very small❣

In two weeks’ time, I will be married to the man of my dreams…after a millennium of dreaming and believing…and more often than not…telling myself I was stupid for hoping that I could still find a knight in shining armor…often joking that at our age…the armor has a few dents and dings…but then my ‘damsel in distress’ robes are a bit tattered and torn…and everything is viewed through the lens of love and care…and that changes everything…

When I write it out…it sounds hokey…but it is a true as the sun rising and setting…we had wanted to get married with family in the us and Europe but all that was nixed when we couldn’t travel last year…we will be blessed to share the day with a small part of our South African family to celebrate with…and now we can party all next year when we meet up again with others…

Which brings me back to trying to put it all together in a country where I don’t know who to use for catering, cake, or flowers…although everything will be wonderful no matter what…sometimes the most memorable events are those where things didn’t go as planned…

I wish for you the same magical life in the midst of living the day-to-day…wonder and wander like a child…get lost in dreams…in your hopes…never ever give up…connect to the moment…to what is…to yourself…to the universal energy that flows through everything…find gratitude until it overflows your cup…play…in everything play…doing dishes…dance to the music of life…

Dance Like No One Is Watching Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook,  Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter

Embrace the mysteries of who you are…make wishes and believe that they will come true…I will warn you that probably not when you want them too…but they do…be crazy in love with life…it is short…to short not to live in joy…for breath, life and love…My life changed when I became content with what and where I was…happy…just plain delighted to be alive…when you find happiness and joy where you are…sharing the magic of the now…you would be amazed at what happens…

Sending love, laughter, lots of magic…don’t forget to dance…it is quite liberating…

The View at the Top

As a writer, I often muse about what I have learned in my life and would want to leave that if people heard with their heart would make a difference to their lives…it would be…

NEVER, NEVER, EVER GIVE UP…ON YOUR GOALS, DREAMS, VISIONS AND ESPECIALLY YOURSELF..❣

No matter how many times you failed, no matter how dire the circumstances seem…or how long the fight…how much you feel like quitting

No matter how tired…rest awhile and get back up…just get back up

I have read so many articles and books…listened to every available video and program that I could get my hands on after my dissolution of an 18 year marriage in my mid-30’s…I had to walk away with nothing to my name…I had no means to keep my children…one child that really needed my help…the other opting to stay with his father because I did not have the money to give him the things his father promised to give to him…living in a car…and on and on…the knock downs and knock outs kept coming..

In the years in between…everything I tried to accomplish failed…the dreams I held in my heart and would not leave me alone…all shattered…there were successes…but there always seemed to be more failures and falling short of the cherished desires that I held unto tightly…wrapped in dirty discarded disappointments…

But I couldn’t give up…there was always a spark hidden underneath all the ashes of my life…I would read something that came my way…and the dying ember was fanned into a small fire and the rekindling of hope keep me hanging on through the years…

Recently I woke up on a quiet morning and realized that many of my dreams/wishes had manifested…I had been given the gifts that I had asked for on my “Christmas” list…not in all the exact physical detail that I thought I wanted…but definitely the “feeling” that I wanted in my life…

After my divorce, I made a list of the attributes of a partner that I felt would be a “soul mate”…someone that would be a yin to my yang…I spent years…literally😣 on dating sites searching for the “one”…there are definitely plenty of fish in the pond…over the years I went through over a thousand profiles…hundreds of online conversations…a few I thought might be compatible…but no one fit…and I felt I was too old and maybe just a friendship would be satisfying…

Then one day in 2018..26 years later…I received a pen pal request from a man halfway across the world in South Africa…a nice gentleman who offered to help me turn my profile photo right side up…we shared a love for photography, traveling and the same spiritual beliefs…he was intelligent, well read, gentle and kind…although an engineer is about as opposite to a creative personality…but yet the same…enjoyed music and art…he had even taken dance classes…

We wrote, and messaged daily for months…it was easy being open and free to express myself to someone that I shared so much with and was thousand’s of miles away…and would probably never meet in person…he was easy and gentle…very accepting and I felt that I could be supportive with some experiences that he was dealing with at the time…I had been there and done that…

There was no way that I could ever have come up with the way that this part of my life unfolded…a definite surprise package…now living in beautiful South Africa with a man that has made my life so incredibly magical every day…

Although life hasn’t all been wine & roses…especially when his cancer diagnosis was said out loud…just a little over a year after I arrived…9 months later after surgery and heart rending chemo side effects…we reached the other side…Mr. P rang the bell after his last chemo treatment was a few weeks ago and he has been given wonderful news that his stats are normal…full of gratitude and would not change one second…

I had several businesses that I had to abandon or didn’t get off the ground for one reason or another…one wish I have always had was to be able to leave a business for my children…a few days ago one of my children asked about helping with a business idea…how awesome is that…

I wanted to travel…see the world…and now our plans include Turkey and France…🤞 this year

I had lost a photography business when my divorce occurred…now I have photographed some of the most exquisite beauty in nature…

I carried a story around with me or some years and now I am writing a fantasy novel…which may take me awhile, but is so much fun…

I do think that maybe there are things I could have done to expedite the expression of my desires…I think there were times I was stepping on the brakes at the same time I was stepping on the gas…but I believe a large part is that is that I just wasn’t at the place I needed to be to or it wasn’t the right time…

And there are still things in my life that are waiting to be realized…but you have to ask and believe…trust and hope…God said, “Ask and ye shall receive”…He will give you the desires of your heart as you wait and trust in Him…and believe me, there will be things that you don’t receive that later on you will be glad that you didn’t get…

Never ever give up and enjoy the journey and if you are in a place where that seems impossible…sit with gratitude in nature…keep the flame burning in your heart…if all these things have been “gifted” to me…a simple girl born in the cold snowy winter of a small farming town with one stop sign…then it will happen for you…

With much love and magic for your day…

Renée🦋

Day 29…Being Present

I went and sat with myself to see if I could figure out what was really going on…I knew that the emotions that seemed to be overwhelming were only a symptom…and as usual…when I stop…breath…take the time to be quiet, sit and listen…then the truth will show itself…

Why did I feel so unhappy…I have so much to be grateful for…feel at peace and delightful joy…most of the time…but a couple of days ago…the darkness surrounded and suffocated me until I felt I couldn’t breath… drowning in my own sadness…

I can go along for periods of time without experiencing the flooding of emotions…being overwhelmed…and I forget…

Forget that being an HSP…Highly Sensitive Person…that a huge increase in stimuli causes these “overloads”…and last week were 4 days of unusual events…processing new information and deciding what needed to be done…without a break…

Meeting a old friend of Mr. P (the first person since arriving)…his being a guest 4 days…24/7…cooking…which meant several days of excessive preparation and entertaining in a new environment…not being able to adhere to my accustomed way of being…no wonder I was on empty…

I handled the experiences with finesse… I believe…after all…He did tell Mr. P that I was a “honey”… but I was way to far gone before I realized…and wasn’t able to put the brakes on…

My personal recipe for a quicker recovery is just to “check out” altogether for a day or two…which means mentally as well as physically…

Spending time in Nature is healing energy
Mother Nature nurtures body, mind and soul…

…and so I listened and checked out yesterday

My First Braai

…and

…and there were braai’s and the making of the traditional South Africa Milk Tart…mixed with incredibly awe inspiring South African wines…

ahhh…yes

97 Days…The Love Travelers

“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like love affairs, never really end” ~Pico Iyer

It is as if invisible threads have connected us through time and space…but, then, invisible threads are often the strongest…soulmates or twin souls…I don’t know…yet a dream foretold our love over 26 years ago…

Yes…26 years ago…I had been divorced a couple of years…and my daughter and I were sitting in the car…talking of my hurt and loneliness…she started telling me of a dream that she had had of someone from across the world coming for me…and she saw details (although at the time she did not share them with me)… our forms, the house, and felt my happiness…we never really discussed it again…

Sporadically, throughout the following years it would come to mind, although I didn’t put much stock in it…I had tried several relationships that ended with a great deal of pain and sorrow…I had never given up on finding the love that I sought…but the flame of hope flickered out…

The embers would not go out…there was still the niggling thought that there just might be someone somewhere that was meant be THE ONE..I kept the embers alive by visiting dating sites…being accessible..and doing all the things that the current media experts say you should do…

I met many men…some jerks, a lot of scammers and users, but many that were normal and nice…yet I was not willing to settle with anyone just for the sake of keeping loneliness from sleeping with me every night…my heart seemed to have a unique shape for love to fill..and no one fit..what was a girl to do?….

I had joined a PenPal site to try and find a person to correspond with so that I might practice my Spanish skills with…in March 2018…I received a message…
Hi I’m Patrick from South Africa, I visit the US pretty much every year and am a fan. I see you are sideways, I can maybe help with that 🙂 …being technically computer challenged sometimes…I had inadvertently set up my photo so that I was sideways…

A knight on his steed coming to a damsel in distress… how could one not respond…there was not this instantaneous recognition of how well he would fit into the unique love shape of my heart…he started by sharing beautiful photographs of his world…places I had never seen…

And even though I desired to experience the love…having experienced the many shades of deceit and hurts…my heart was closed, like the bud of a flower…only with time and the warmth of his care and the watering from our shared tears did my heart start to slowly open…

He has told me that he loved me long before I would even admit to caring in any form, other than a long distant friendship…our conversations grow deeper…we started sharing joys, pain and scars, adventures and misadventures, our similarities and our differences, we laughed and cried togather…our emails grew from a few times a week…to daily…to texing multiple times a day on what’s app…to voice memo’s at the end of our day (he is 6 hours ahead of me)…and phone calls…

He wanted to meet…but various reasons, I kept putting him off…until I couldn’t imagine my life without him in it…and I wan’t more…so much more…even though everything about him felt right and perfect for me…no glaring red flags…I have experienced feeling a connection with someone and meeting that person and there just not being any physical connection…and I wanted it all…and would settle for no less..

The only way to know for sure was to meet…physically touch…I knew that we had connected on an intellectual and spiritual level…but would the physical energy be compatible…or would we just be fiends that shared a few pleasurable moments in time…

In February of this year…we decided to take a bold leap of faith and meet…

…I opened the door and fell into his arms…I was home for the first time in my life…

There are many stories to tell…but the next 97 days are about journey of trying to obtain an extended visitors visa, so that we can be together enough time to apply for a life partner’s visa…

It has taken time to just sort through the regulations and find best route to being together…we have already experienced some setbacks…yet there is the knowledge…that we were meant to be…

…after I returned from adventuring together… traveling from Atlanta, GA to Louisville, KY…my daughter asked me what we had decided to do…when I told her that I would be moving to South Africa to be with Patrick…she told me that she already knew that I wold be leaving…because before I had left to meet him, I had shown her a video that he had sent me of his home…and what she saw in the video were the same images that she had seen in her dream 26 years prior…

I would love to hear from anyone else that has shared the journey of meeting and falling in love with someone from another country and your own unique experiences…remember always and forever…you are loved

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment…” ~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Sending Love

We Interrupt this Program…

Before I continue the story of my life…I wanted to insert a beautiful thread of my current life…my life has not been an easy one, although I have been radically blessed in many ways…and I desire always to be grateful for even the dark threads…the pain and the sorrow…the deep loneliness…

It took where I have been to create who I am today…wounds that are touched by God’s love have become beautiful…I envision myself as a intriguing stained glass mosaic…many broken pieces assembled by the Master’s hand…where when His light shines through all of my cracked and defective pieces…the world can see the exquisiteness of His Love..

I have always carried in my heart…a promise…that enchanting colorful threads of beauty, joy and happiness would be added to my tapestry my life to create an exquisite pattern…I had always felt that they would be given to me during this chapter in my life…there were dreams and premonitions from others in my life over 25 years ago…and I have carried the beautiful gem of hope deep in the recesses of my heart…

In March 8, 2018, I received an email from a Patrick on a PenPal site…
“Hi I’m Patrick from South Africa, I visit the US pretty much every year and am a fan. I see you are sideways, I can maybe help with that 🙂 …and so a long distance friendship started to bud…after all what woman could resist a man wanting to fix her being sideways (which he meant…my photo was sideways 🙂 )…

Over my lifetime…I have tried many dating sites…and that is a series of several blogs of interesting dialog…but in the hundreds of men whose profiles I had reviewed…my heart had not been touched…the PenPal site…I had just been looking for a friend…someone to correspond with…maybe to practice my Spanish with…who would know that what would transpire over the following months…

For me…in the beginning…my heart remained closed to anything of substance…after all he was over 8, 678 miles away…what were the chances…but I so enjoyed the exchanging of photographs…with no expectations…except maybe a new friend…my Alaska photos for his brother and sister…his holiday house on the beach…Seal Bay…one of my first replies was one of my favorite quotes by Helen Keller…”Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”…and the adventure began…

This was also in that particular response