Only a few days till I leave for the month of June with a $1000 dollars in my pocket my yoga mat, kayak, mountain bike, land paddle, a tent, lots of tuna packets, coffee, and my journal. My favorite movie of all times is "Castaway," with Tom Hanks. I have seen this movie at least 20 times over the past 15 years. My favorite part in the movie is when Tom pulled up to the intersection with a map in hand, a FedEx package he had saved for 7 years to finally deliver to a customer on some back country road. In the movie, Tom left the package on the customers porch as no one was home when he knocked on the door. As Tom drove away from the house and off down the country road he approached a sign pointing in four different directions. A truck pulled up to the intersection with a woman who leaned out the window and said, "hey cowboy are you lost?" He said, "no just figuring out where to go next." As she drove off down the country road he suddenly realized on the back of her truck were the wings of an angel painted on the tailgate. The Fedex box that he had saved unopened on the deserted island for 7 years had those angel wings stamped on the Fedex box. This scene in the movie resonates with me, as this solo trip for the next 30 days will have multiple intersections, reveal many surprises, and perhaps open new avenues with wings of healing along the way.
I have a general route that will take me out west via OK, TX, NM, AZ, UT, NV, CA, OR and maybe a few more states if the Subaru turns right, left, or perhaps straight ahead. I have spent the last 18 years planning each direction, specifically calculating my determined path, climbing the ladder of success, chasing ambitions, constantly writing another grant, pushing myself to be more, achieve more, do more, fix more, until I finally realized, "STOP the madness Deb your enough." I have done enough, I'm strong enough, I am brave enough, I am good enough, and enough is going to have to be enough. My life to this point has revolved around a bell, timer, buzzer, stop watch, or class routine that has had to fit within a predetermined time slot. This trip is all about slowing down and breathing! I am curious and interested to travel the many different directions, and perhaps some unknown roads, even testing some uncharted waters in the kayak trips ahead. The picture I chose for this post has been sitting on my desk at school for about 6 months. I purchased the photo at a fund raiser for a local women's shelter in my community. My friend Sara captured this amazing image along with many others she sold at the charity event. I was immediately drawn to the picture of the railroad tracks above, because the tracks symbolized a change in direction. As you can see in the picture there is a switching gate that will send the train either to the left or right. For me, I have always thought it was the right thing to do to stay steady on course and firmly on the same track no matter what happened. I was programmed to keep the rubber on the road and between the white lines, of course with the pedal to the metal. I never realized how valuable this switching gate was till I just about derailed myself in Dec 2017. However, I changed three things very important things that saved my life. The first major change I implemented was to learn how to eat the correct foods for my body which has helped me lose 35 pounds. The second major change I committed to myself was my practice of yoga, which I credit Scott and NWA Hot Yoga family to saving my life. Last but not least, I made the conscious choice to let go of things I could not change, control, nor fix in others. These 3 critical decisions were my switching gate to get my life back on track or at least heading down the right path for a happier, peaceful, and more joyful future.
Over the past 10 years I have endured 3 tragic life changing events. The most painful and difficult change for me to finally comes to terms with was the fact that I could not change or fix anything, other than myself. Everything else is totally out of my control. I am learning that the only thing I can change is me and the direction I want my future to head. I have driven across those railroad tracks at least 1000 times and have never considered how important the role of a switching gate is before purchasing this picture. Nevertheless, I am positive that this photo will continue to serve as a very powerful metaphor in my life.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today. Go find your own inner strength and courage to make the switch or change in your life for peace, happiness, and joy.
Let the journey begin within yourself.