Wyoming Gifts & Heavenly Wonder
My summer journeys across the country are about to come to a close as I begin to prepare for my 19th year of teaching in the Rogers Public School District. I certainly feel proud and accomplished with the intent of my original goals set for this journey back in March. I authenticity rediscovered my powerful fun loving spirit to jump over the self-imposed obstacles that were previously tripping me up. I am overflowing with rekindled purpose and inspired passion moving into the future and confidently back in the saddle living life intentionally and with balanced destiny. During a recent horse riding adventure in Wyoming I triumphantly leaped over a 4-foot drainage culvert with a commanding horse named Ernie. Landing the jump safety with perfect timing and grace flipped the ON DEB switch for me like I had performed this jump a thousands times. This was the moment I had been waiting for to be released from my fears to forgive myself for the past and take the reins of my life back with renewed confidence, bravery, and courage. The metaphor life ditch I was fearful to jump over revolved around my personal finances and the ability to pull my hoof out of the mud, saddle up, dance in the arena, and be willing to slip on a pair of sexy cowgirl boots in the closet.
As a smart, intelligent woman with an abundance of skills, resources, and experiences I am wholly engaged with receiving life with open arms and headed back towards the top of the mountain. Over the past month it has been quite an accelerating ride just allowing the universe to open up opportunities for new events, additional financial opportunities, and surprising blessings unfolding each day. I am very excited to be pursuing my 1st of several house flips this winter. In addition, I recently partnered with a friend to launch the 1st Annual NWA Yoga & Mediation Retreat on Beaver Lake, which we would love to build into something special in the Ozarks. Another bonus is I just landed two nice paying presentation gigs for the fall. As I approached the drainage ditch with Ernie I said to myself, “Deb what the hell are you afraid of? Get your ass going with this horse and jump over the damm ditch with rhythm and grace. Ernie knows what to do! Your job is to breathe, let him do his job, hang on, and act like you have done this 1000 times. You go girl, gitty up!"
A few weeks ago I was humbled beyond my wildest dreams with an incredible 6-mile hike around the beautiful Brush Creek Lodge Resort property set upon 30,000 acres surrounded by the unbelievable Medicine Bow National Forest. I am lost for words that I had the unforeseen opportunity to sit on a redwood patio in a perfectly designed Adirondack chair with million dollar views, a soft evening breezes, lovely music in the back ground, and the most content of hearts. This type of rural mountain lodge experiences are usually reserved for a very elite sector of society and clients with very deep pockets. I read that the Brush Creek Ranch was recently named the #1 Resort Hotel in the USA and #3 Hotel in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine Readers in the 2017 Worlds Best Awards. I had the full spectrum of summer paradigm experiences, as during the entire month of June I slept my way across the country in parking lots sneaking into swanking hotels with hot tubs and breakfast buffets. It was a great adventure 30-day experience on $1200.00 bucks, which provided some incredible escapades to write and laugh about. On the other hand, by the end of July I had a legitimate invite to stay at a multi million dollar inconceivable lodge for 2 days that turned into 6 days and I did not even have to sneak in the gate.
I will get into how that all happened a little later in this blog. For now I would love to share a glimpse into a very special morning hike that I took to the top of a mountain where the earth leveled off with the grandiose skyline with magnificent breathtaking views of Wyoming all around me. On a perfect blue sky WY morning in mid July I jumped out of bed at the ranch and hiked up a narrow winding red gravel path to the top of one of the many Brush Creek Ranch private riding trails. When I reached the top of mountain I was in absolute serenity, as there was not another human encountered along my path. Wearing my favorite bright orange Nike trail runners I had just enough traction to maintain a rhythmic paced silent hike in the middle of an exceptional slice of heaven. I had the distinct privilege to enjoy all of God’s beauty and wonder while engaged in deep reflection unraveling my redefined purpose and passions while embracing this incredible adventure. Along this summer journey I have a developed a deep appreciation and clear understanding of the importance of surrounding myself with spiritually aware people who challenge me to think, push me to evolve, and create a better tomorrow. A further significant component I solidified this summer is my important connection within spirituality, nature, water, mountains, travel, adventure pursuits, and always connecting to Mother Earth.
As I continue to examine higher levels of understanding into myself, I am embracing my curious nature; my non stop appetite for learning, optimistic attitude of the unknown, and welcome opportunities for expanding my spiritual awareness. While I walk into the future I continue to seek out opportunities to be a positive light in this world serving, teaching, and making a difference for others along the way. I am keenly aware that a divine higher power is opening the right doors in my investigation for a higher awareness through God and the universe through my Yoga practice, daily meditation, and other expanding spiritual practices. I unquestionably feel positivity grounded within myself and finally am at a sense of stillness to embrace all that this earthly life is teaching me. Being a Libra and knowing how important harmony, balance, and peace are to my inner self, it is easier to understand now and process how the traumatic events in my past tipped me over and unbalanced my confidence at the core. Some of these situations were entirely beyond my control and I acknowledge that I too played a huge role in many unhealthy decisions that contributed to my allostatic long-term chronic stress overload situation.
At least I can say I did not pull off another Lisa Nowak front-page headliner, as my family has already been on the front page of the paper and Channel 5 news too many times. For those of you who might not remember Lisa Nowak, she was a highly decorated NASA pilot with the cross country diaper fiasco which crushed her 20 year NASA and military career. I will give you a summary of what can happen to a multi million dollar trained flight officer when confronted with long term chronic stress that can tip even the toughest of professional aviators off a balanced edge and lose their crackers. The fulcrum tipping point in the brain is when stress and common sense lose critical balance and judgment which is called the allostatic balance tipping point. This story was literally a bizarre out of this world jealousy love triangle between 3 highly decorated NASA pilots who were launched into the media not for going into space, but for going out of their minds. Captain Lisa Nowak, was a Navy captain and graduate from the United States Navel Academy with a masters degree in aeronautical engineering. What happened in the brain of a woman who one minute was flying shuttle missions in 2006, then decided to drive 950 miles across the county in astronaut diapers dressed in a trench coat and wig? Captain Nowak drove her car from Houston, Texas to Orlando, Florida with intention to harm Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman, who was romantically involved with Lisa’s former astronaut lover, Cmdr Bill Oefelein.
I absolutely understand that I too personally had to hit rock bottom as a necessary part of my personal restorative process and climb back into the cockpit of life. I am so grateful today that I can reflect back and laugh at my own Lisa Nowak moments on the bathroom floor, minus the diapers, and no intent to harm anyone. However, I now know that I would not have been able to learn the many karmic lessons needed to develop a strong redefined way of life filled with incredible drive, motivation, purpose, and passion without lying on the bathroom floor kicking and screaming for a miracle. I have a much-improved understanding of how the relentless impacts on my psychological, physical, and spiritual wellness over the past 10 years were completely out of my control due to multiple family and personal life tragedies. I emotionally tortured myself for years over situations that were not my fault nor burdens I was meant to carry. It is emotionally freeing to have finally forgiven myself for my past mistakes and the past mistakes and failures of others that have hurt me in the past.
Today I am much kinder to myself, laugh at myself all the time, and regularly make fun of all my silly old rules. I have thrown out old habits of life suppressing behaviors, and now embrace new high quality habits of living a life of emotional maturity and conscious intention based daily living practices. As I continue to listen and trust in the universal plan for me I know that my heart, soul, and spirit are attracting the resources to enable events in my life to bring many blessings, love, and prosperity. Each day I am witness to the beautiful contributions the universe is unfolding through incredible relationships I have had the honor to experience this summer. It is up to me to fully discover, research, and expand my awareness beyond traditional norms of thinking by continuing to live a life filled with inquiry. As I was hiking a few weeks ago at the glorious Brush Creek Ranch Resort I asked myself these important questions, “Deb, what is your primary purpose and role for being in this world? How can you accomplish goals that are purposeful and of real service to others? How can you discover and nurture your well being as an authentic self, and improve your spiritual knowledge while living a balanced life?” I am listening and continue to learn and improve myself by embracing the unknown with a full and tender heart allowing my imagination and creative spirit to bring me into full swing within momentum in the harmony of life. I am passionately motivated to draw upon my writing and public speaking talents for the highest good to help others examine social norms, happiness, wholesome living, yoga, meditation, and spirituality within nature. I understand that we all have obstacles to overcome; however for me I have discovered by engaging myself in my own spiritual awaking the process is guiding me along the perfect path of merging some old beliefs with new knowledge of awareness and competence. Another area of my life that I am reexamining with transparency is being 100% focused, present, and responsible for my daily thoughts, actions, and positive energy including my verbal and non-verbal responses. I truly believe the following statement, which was forwarded to me in a recent leadership article written by Benjamin Hardy, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”
While out on my meditation hike I discovered multiple trails scattered amongst this breathtaking property that are used for horseback riding, ATV’s, and hiking. Another astonishing find along the gorgeous Brush Creek Ranch mountain hike were two beautifully constructed decks with T-Pee’s perched above a rolling hills green pasture surrounding with the sounds of a beautiful river winding through the property. While reading the Brush Creek Resort information guide I learned that these special areas are used for guest massages. The blessings to be present within this serene setting for a week certainly provided my soul with a soft mental massage of love, laughter, peace, joy, and special moments of spiritual enlightenment. It is still quite a mystery to me, as to how I actually received an invite to the breathtaking Brush Creek Ranch. Nevertheless, I truly treasured each and every moment to be there and reflectively write in this blog with an open heart.
While visiting the Brush Creek Ranch a few weeks ago I had an extraordinary opportunity to paddle down the stunning Platte River with another kindred outdoor adventure soul.
Kelsey actually started her life halfway across the world in Australia and arrived in America during her twenties after a series of cross-country motorcycle adventures that should be a Lifetime series. Kelsey truly has fully embraced all that life’s adventures have tossed her way with unconditional exhilaration, deep investigation into personal spirituality, and a vigorous capacity of self-reliant endeavors. Kelsey and I became connected via a mutual dear friend named Scott who thought we might have some interesting conversations about our life and our crazy adventures. We had previously had a brief Instant Message conversation about meeting for coffee in Santa Barbara when I passed through on my summer trip down the west coast in June. However, when I contacted Kelsey in May to confirm the date range she let me know she had accepted a position as a chef at a dude ranch in Wyoming. As expected, I figured that was the end of the story, as the timing for meeting in Santa Barbara just would not work out for this occasion. A few months passed by and I made a comment on a picture that Kelsey had posted on Face Book about the Platte River. I remember exactly where I was at while scrolling Face Book late one night somewhere in western Texas. Again I did not think much about it until I received an IM from Kelsey that said, “I’m planning on floating/kayaking down the Platte River. I’ve not done it before, don’t know much about it other than I have observed it from several locations and it is incredibly beautiful especially the Federal Wilderness Areas. I need to get more info, apparently no significant rapids in the stretches. I want to go, but need to investigate. River dropping quickly. I only get a couple of days off every two weeks, so it would be a two-day trip max. If you are interested let me know?
There are two kayaks here at the ranch. I have to check them out. Need paddles; probably can get life jacket and helmets from out fishing guides.” I immediately thought to myself, “Deb, why not? This sounds like a blast! Just send her a message and see what she says.” This was my reply to Kelsey; “I just pulled into the driveway last night after 30 days on the road 6570 miles of incredible adventure, stories, laughter, and a few scary moments. I am flying to LAX July 22-29 and go back to school on Aug 7th. I am a spirited road warrior and would consider throwing the kayak back on the car for a two-day adventure. It is 13 hours to Denver for me. How far are you west of Denver? Cheers Deb.” That is pretty much the story on how I ended up at the Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming. This is proving to be one incredible adventure story that continues to unravel. I could have never anticipated I would be so profoundly impacted at a secret hideaway dude ranch in Wyoming on a dirt road 1000 miles from Arkansas.
There will be two additional blogs coming this week with some funny and amazing Platt River adventures, another FUBA key episode, and multiple Brush Creek Ranch wrangler stories.
May the Journey Begin within you