General: September 2007 Archives
As much as I loved our vacation, re-entry has knocked me for a loop! For many reasons, I feel like returning home was not really returning to the same place. When we left, it was deep summer; now it's definitely fall. The garden has progressed accordingly, and the hummingbirds have gone. And most remarkably of all, when we left, my bathroom--frowsy, outdated, and moldy as it was, was the same tiny, private haven I have loved since we bought the house 8 years ago, but when we returned, a new, pristine, fabulous, glamorous--and unfamiliar--bathroom was waiting for me. I had no idea how odd that would feel! (I am planning to share before and after photos of the new bath soon!)
Like I said a couple of entries back, having the upgraded bathroom feels more like a new me than just a new room--kind of like it's a symptom of some inner upgrade I have made and not yet fully integrated. When we first got home Sunday night and I saw it, it felt a bit alien, even in its splendor. Now, I love it--I mean I really LOVE it, and spend time in it just marveling over the transformation and delighting that I was able to allow it to happen so miraculously--truly, one of my most amazing Easy World experiences! Ironically, after almost a week of adjusting, I am now eager to transform everything in the house.
This experience makes me wonder how in the world those families on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition handle leaving their old falling-down pathetic house and returning in only a week to a completely different, totally renovated glamorous house in the same setting that doesn't even resemble the original, all tricked out with the latest in design and convenience features. It must be what I experienced, but on steriods! And talk about needing to integrate your old image of yourself with the new!
Bathroom aside, I have felt a little like we landed on the moon when we returned. In more than one way, I am not in the same place I was before I left. Even without a home renovation, we may think we're returning to the same place when we come back after an absence, but everything moves on, both internally and externally, whether it's very noticeable or not. To cope, I have been experiencing an overwhelming need for rest, for stillness, to calibrate the various levels of myself. Some of that is just from the stress of travel and all that entails, and some of it feels like a necessary part of a new birth.
I don't really know what I'm moving toward, but I will just keep going forward and trusting it's exactly right and, though perhaps, unfamiliar, that it will be wonderful as I grow into it and it becomes familiar--just like my new bathroom. In the process, I give myself permission to take lots of naps. And, if you feel you need permission to do the same, I grant you permission to nap, too! I believe we're all discarding old identities and upgrading to new ones, and sleep is beneficial in that process.
I love, love, love bringing through answers to people's questions, so when I found that Kristian from Sweden had posted some on the Easy World Forum, I was excited to have the chance to answer them.
I was especially thrilled to have the questions because while we were on vacation, I felt powerfully, and expressed to Rick (again!), that my vision and intention is to do as Esther and Jerry Hicks do for their public appearances. Instead of coming up with themes for talks and workshops to give, they simply invite questions, and answer people's questions in the moment (well, Esther channels Abraham to answer).
That sounds like the end of the rainbow for me! Heaven!
I took Kristian's questions as a sign that I was heard and that the Universe is aligning with my desires. OR, more likely, I am aligning vibrationally with the Divine Desire that I feel longing to come into expression through me. "Spirit Answers Through Julia Rogers Hamrick."
Anyway, here are the questions and the answers I was inspired to give:
Who do you believe you are when you are in Easy World?
I believe I am my true Self--the "me" that is perfectly aligned with Source, and is non-resistant to The Flow of Love. In Easy World, I believe I am the highest expression of what it is to be a human being.
Do you believe you are your physical body or a spiritual being having a physical body?
Definitely I AM Spirit wearing an "Earth suit," the equipment necessary to fully experience and interface with the material realm here on Planet Earth.
Is Love something you feel and experience in Easy World or is it your true sense of self?
Love is who I AM and my experience of it is fully apparent when I'm in Easy World. Because all stress and ego machinations fall away in Easy World, unblocking The Flow, Easy World allows you to feel the Love flowing freely and to express your true nature in alignment with the Design for Harmony.
Do you believe you can choose whether an ego pulls you out of Easy World or not?
While it sometimes feels as though it's not a choice, I believe ultimately, it is. Staying in EW is inconsistent with the habits we've formed over a lifetime, so I believe it's a matter of establishing the habit of realigning with Easy World on purpose until it becomes your modus operandi again (you were in EW in the beginning and learned to choose Difficult World).
As you choose Easy World over and over, the Law of Attraction matches your vibration with experiences that perpetuate your time in Easy World and strengthens your ability to not be pulled out of it either by your own ego, or someone else showing up to "harsh your mellow." (Though actually, it is always your own ego that expels you from EW--but sometimes it's your ego answering the invitation from someone else's ego to join them in Difficult World!)
So...if you have any burning spiritual questions that you'd like a different perspective on, ask away! Of course, YOU have all the answers, so first, ask yourSelf. Then, if you want to see what the aspect of you that is me has to say, ask me!
I have to make this quick as I am losing Internet service here in just a few minutes! We have to turn in the equipment to the cable company by close of business today and Rick is about to disconnect everything!
Anyway, we'll be cruising through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and finally, Colorado, with an overnight in Council Bluffs, Iowa tomorrow night. We'll have wi/fi there, so I may check in or if I'm too tired, not!
Meanwhile, Patrick continues to work on the bathroom to have it ready for our arrival. I'm so excited! The medicine cabinet will be missing--it won't show up till Wednesday, but otherwise, all should be done! Woooohooooo!
Talk to you again soon!
(this is me last night just after sunset in front of the cottage)
Staying in the moment. Being fully present in the now. Not focusing my mind in the past or future. I know that's the key to the whole ballgame. But it's one of the more persistent challenges I have encountered as a human being seeking to express my divine Self--or, shall I say, being God, seeking to express myself as human! Guess I'm doing pretty well with that--what could be more human than dwelling in the future or past?!
Case in point: I am here, in this beautiful place, and it's Tuesday. We are leaving Saturday. That's 4 days away. So why am I letting the dread of leaving (and, the excitement about getting home!), eclipse the magic of the moment?! I know myself well enough to know that I'll be missing this place soon enough (as I am failing to apreciate wherever I am--eeeek!). But I'm here NOW--I want to be totally feeling this, right here, right now! When it's actually time to leave, I'd like to be fully into the leaving as well. In the now. Savoring the moment. Not thinking about anything but the unique deliciousness of each moment as it unfolds.
I don't know if I've blogged about this before or not, but I call it the "Sunday Afternoon Syndrome," that stems from my childhood. I would have a fun-filled weekend with hardly a care--until Sunday afternoon. Then, anticipation of Monday and the school week would cast a shadow over Sunday afternoon and evening so that I could hardly enjoy them for dreading the upcoming loss of freedom the school week brought with it!
In college, in love with a man who lived 90 minutes away, I would live for Friday afternoons when we could see each other. We would have blissful weekends--until, you guessed it, Sunday afternoons, when I knew it would all soon be over until the next weekend, and so the thought of that--of being without him--put a sadness on Sunday afternoon and evening and even when I was still with him, I did not enjoy it as much as I might have if I had not let the future rob the present.
What's that saying? If you are remembering the past or worrying about the future, you're missing the present--the gift of the now. I think I'll re-dedicate myself to savoring the precious gift of being here now. I hear the waves...I feel the sisal underfoot...I feel the warmth of the computer...see the glow of the screen...
Rick and I had a plan for the evening which was to have dinner here in Ludington at a restaurant where you can watch the carferry come in while you dine. We thought we'd go early and then maybe go watch the ferry unload afterward. I called for reservations, but someone had rented it out for a wedding reception so it was closed to the public. Dang. Okay. "I choose to live in Easy World where everything is easy." No sweat.
Then we decided it would be fun to go on down to the local brewpub for a couple of pints and some good food (love their beer and their food), but discovered there was a street fair thing for bikers going on downtown and that the roads were blocked off, making it impossible to get to the brewpub. Double dang. Again, "I choose to live in Easy World where everything is easy." Must be the night for something else, we reluctantly decided. So then we thought about another restaurant and headed that way, but before we got there, decided, instead, to try going to another brewpub--this one, in Manistee--which is about 30 miles away. When we passed the other restaurant we'd thought of on our way out of town, it was closed, too! Noooooo problem. We'd already ruled that out anyway.
So we drove to Manistee, through the beautiful countryside, and found the brewpub--except it was no longer a brewpub, but a restaurant named "Tuscan Grill," which had taken its place! Argh...hearts (mouths) had been set on a good craft beer. But, hey-- "I choose to live in Easy World where everything is easy." So we decided to go on in and continue with The Flow.
Turned out to have great food, great wine, great service, great people-watching, and it was just perfect! Afterward, we went down the street to the city park to look out at Lake Michigan and the beginning of sunset, and then we headed back to Ludington where we stopped at House of Flavors (ice cream) before coming back to the cottage. It was the perfect Saturday night date! I'm SO glad we just trusted the Universe and went with The Flow. It's the only way to go--if you want to have fun and not be terminally disappointed, that is!
Here we are at the Tuscan Grill in Manistee, Michigan:
Been feeling too lazy to blog, but I must tell you about the photo in the last (Sept. 13) entry, and a funny thing that happened in relationship to it.
Teresa--it's not a candle plate--just a plate-plate, with a little something extra. Ann, my dear sister, whose wonderful cottage we're staying in, you know exactly what it is (and NOT gazpacho!). That was sick. Drumroll, please...
It is a fruitfly trap. It's red wine in a saucer covered and sealed with plastic wrap with 3 toothpick holes in it. The little guys find their way in, but can't find their way to freedom. The dark globs you see in the wine are masses of dead fruitflies. Pretty gross. We had a huge attack of them, and needed a way to control them, so we looked on the Internet and found the design. We had already intuitively put wine in the plate to draw them away from our dinner, but only after we found a way to make it the Hotel California (you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave), did it do the job.
Okay. Correlated story. Last night, Dad took us to Lincoln Hills Country Club for the Friday night buffet (which was grand, by the way--best club food ever) and I ordered a glass of shiraz. It came and I took a sip and discovered something floating in it. My first thought was "cork," but when I looked, there was a graveyard of fruitflies! Apparently, the bottle had been uncorked and they found their way in but not out. EEEyech! I had fruitflies in my mouth and stuck to my lipstick! Oddly, it didn't gross me out as much as I would have thought. I don't think I'll be a contestant on Fear Factor or one of those survival shows, but a little fruitfly in your wine is not the worst thing in the world...except, perhaps for the fruitfly! However, I can probably think of worse deaths than getting totally smashed and drowning in wine.
Here's a picture of Dad, Rick, and me at dinner:
Okay. A little Julia's-on-vacation puzzle that relates to our stay in the cottage. I need to have this picture online to show someone who wants to know how to make one, and my blog is the easiest place to put it. Soooo...since it's here, my challenge to you, dear blog reader, is to guess what it is!
Aaaaaahhhh...we are here. After a long journey, with some interesting twists which I will relate later, our bodies have been here since Friday night, but the whole of ourselves has just now caught up. The ancient cottage in it's perfect setting, just a stone's throw from the edge of Lake Michigan, was once owned by my four spinster great aunts, and now by my sister, Ann, who is so graciously allowing us to use it. It has always been a part of my history, and I have fond memories of being here when the aunts were alive, baking us biscuits to top with their homemade raspberry preserves, but this is the first time since childhood that I've stayed here.It has worked its magic over the last few days, and Rick and I have experienced its power to bring us to unexplored, quiet places within ourselves.
In fact, I'm so very here now, that though I have so much to say, I am unmotivated to express very much at the moment. Let me simply say that I am learning that the best place to hang out, read, have a morning beverage, or take a spontaneous nap is on the old sofa on the screened porch where the lapping of the waves (and sometimes their roar) is more effective than any lullaby. The best place to sleep at night is the teeny, tiny bedroom on the first floor that was, back in the day when the cottage was built, designed for the family maidservant (not that I consider myself in that category--just ask Rick!); and the best place to write, check email, and find out the weather forecast or just mess around on the computer, is at the dining room table, where I can see Lake Michigan when I look up.
Yes--for me right now, it's all about catching up with rest and sleep and doing not much else unless I just feel like it. Perhaps that is the great gift of this place--an old cottage aptly named "Sleepy Hollow"--that one can so easily give in to the quiet lullaby it embodies.
Here is a picture Rick took of the front of the cottage, with its replacement shingles that have not yet mellowed. My favorite spot is the other end of the front porch. That's where I was in the shot of me relaxing. The picture of the walkway is one Rick took off the porch, and the one of the sunset I took from in front of the cottage.
Sometimes EW is the only place one can survive--actually, it's the only place ever, as any time out of EW and The Flow of Life Force is time spent dying. But sometimes, you've created it so that life is presenting so much to you that even your ego realizes that you have to stay in EW or perish!
That's where I am right now. I'm saying "I choose to live in Easy World, where everything is easy" with the fervor of a Catholic school boy praying the Rosary to keep his mind from impure thoughts. Okay--that's an exaggeration--I'm staying in Easy World pretty well, but I have needed to invoke it quite a lot nonetheless as my ego chimes in with "Dang--you're never going to get it all done!" But I almost have--just the last minute stuff after rising in the morning, and then we're off! I'm taking enough stuff that it looks like the Exodus, but that's the beauty--and the trap--of going by car, and in a mini-van, no less!
Anyhoo, I'll have my computer with me and a fast Internet connection, and I'll check in from the shore of beautiful Lake Michigan as soon as we settle in! Meanwhile, Patrick will be at our house, demolishing the old bathroom and creating the new. I confess I cried today after I had emptied it all and taken the pictures down and such. It feels like shedding an old skin and embracing a new one. I think I'm ready!
For those in the U.S., today was a holiday--hope you made the most of it!
With so much to accomplish before we leave early Thursday, Labor Day for us was just that--a day of labor! I thought you might like to see some of what I've been up to. It's been a really busy 6 days since we found out Patrick could do the bathroom renovation while we're gone, but I believe I'm coming down the homestretch with the numerous details. Finding things that fit our Liliputian-sized bathroom has been an interesting challenge, but I believe its almost done.
Today, Rick and I invoked Easy World at Home Depot and got a really nice, knowledgable sales associate (who wasn't on his way to lunch like so many of the HD clerks seem to be when you ask for help!), and who was really helpful. Love that! What I thought might take awhile was handled in a few short minutes. Always invoke EW if you want pleasant, harmonious, EASY experiences while shopping!
I'll be taking before and after photos, of course, but it does beg an important question: Where does one stand to photograph the inside of a phone booth?!
Here is the storyboard I put together to keep me on task so that everything is cohesive style-wise: