The Journey Begins
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost….
J. R. R. Tolkien
Welcome to our new blog… our new travel blog. Michael and I have down-sized our lives into a spiffy new Murano and we’ve taken off. We put what things we had left into a storage warehouse and prepaid the bill for a year. Since December 18th, we have been living homefree. For the next year, we will travel the US and Canada letting our hearts, our courage, and our sense of adventure lead the way.
We have some ideas and intuitions about where we want to go and what we want to do, but what we really want is to wander… We want to hear our own inner voice and be free to follow our heart’s callings. Lucky for us, our heart’s callings are very much the same. Lucky for us, great and wonderful things in our lives have aligned to make this possible. In hindsight it is actually quite clear, all roads have led us to be able to take this journey ~ together ~ now.
So here we are ~ retired, homefree (stuff-free), inspired, in love, and ready to go on the adventure of a lifetime. And we want you to join us ….
We want to share with you the places and the experiences that have called our name. We want to share both the inner and the outer journey. We know that many people would love to take this trip but for lots of real and obvious reasons can’t. Through this blog, we hope that in some virtual way, you too can experience a journey.
So, Where Will We Go?
When I visualized this journey for myself, I saw spiritual retreats, learning centers, and lots of personal growth experiences, new people, and opportunities. Michael immediately saw Mother Nature and her many majestic wonders. Together, we explored our deep longings about the spiritual experiences we wanted to have. The answer became clear.
We decided to travel north up the east coast of the US and into Canada – across Canada and the US to Vancouver – then slowly, slowly down the West Coast and somewhere along the road go into Colorado. We will visit retreat centers, ashrams, spiritual programs, as well as the beauty of Niagra Falls, Lake Superior, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Lake Louise, and Vancouver Island (to name a few).
In each blog, we will talk about where we geographically and physically are, but also about the experiences and the lessons learned. My niece asked me to report “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” In other words, she wants an authentic account. I promised. Michael and I will be writing from our own perspectives and points of view. Should be interesting!
I love the idea that the journey takes you. And isn’t that true about life in general? Yes, we all have visions and plans, but ultimately, life takes you where you are meant to be.
We know this trip will take us exactly where we need to go, wherever that may be. Therefore, you will have to stay posted because….if we stay true to our intention to follow our heart’s callings…if we have the courage and the resources to say YES…who knows where we might end up on this Journey of a Lifetime.
Where In the World Are We Now?
On December 18, Reads Moving & Storage Co. packed up our furniture and personal belongings and drove away.
We left the very next day to attend the Birth2012 Event in Los Angeles. We wanted to start with a bang! We had the opportunity to spend three inspiring days with Barbara Marx Hubbard, Michael Beckwith, Jan Phillips, Neale Donald Walsh, Rinoldo Burtoco, Stephan Dinan and others from the Shift Network, and hundreds of sisters and brothers.
The event was held at the Agape Church in LA, home of the soul-filled Agape International Choir. The event was broadcast to millions around the world and we were there! You could not be there and not be energized. What a send off for a couple of spiritual seekers!
We got to be up close and personal with so many wonderful people who are on the frontline of the work for conscious evolution. The belief here is that we as a humanity are evolving toward the higher order of life itself and that we each play an important and substantial role in the movement of our world towards peace, love, harmony and actualization. I believe this and I want to be a part of it. And I want to be in the company of others who believe this too.
This beginning was also auspicious because it began on our 10th wedding anniversary (remember this is a love story, too). We married on December 21st – the winter solstice. Michael romantically likes the idea of the “longest night of the year.” And this year, December 21st, also marked the end of the mayan calendar ~ 12/21/2012 ~ and the birth of a new era. Doesn’t this just seem like the perfect time to start anew?
On January 1st, we moved into the carriage house at the Sophia Institute in Charleston.We’ve been to so many of their extraordinary events over the years and have always felt the Sophia Institute is a real gift to our city. We were pleased to be able to spend our last two months there.
As most of you know, I had two of my own retreats to facilitate in January and February, so we needed a place to land until we were actually able to leave Charleston. It was peaceful staying in the carriage house and my last two retreats were two of the best ever. Stay tuned for information about my 2014 retreats.
We ended our stay with Sophia’s annual David Whyte Retreat. Listening to David Whyte is like listening to the angels speak. A brilliant, sexy-voiced angel, that is. Listen to him read his beautiful poem, The Journey. He wrote it for a friend, but really it applies to all of us.
You Are Not Leaving, You Are Arriving…
~ David Whyte
After saying our goodbyes and walking this beloved old city one last time… finally we are driving away in our new little SUV headed to Asheville, NC ~ one of the most spiritual cities in the south. Today, Tuesday, March 12, we are officially off (though as you can see, we have already been on this journey for awhile).
On Wednesday, March 13, we are planning to attend a conference of new thought leaders at the Center for Spiritual Living in Asheville. We plan to take yoga and meditation classes as we prepare ourselves for our upcoming retreat junket. We have frontloaded our journey with some intensive retreat experiences. We want to begin this journey with some training and some practices for being mindful and centered. It takes time to shift gears. We are so thrilled about these opportunities and look forward to reporting about them.
Starting March 22, we will begin by going to the Southern Dharma Center for a five day silent retreat and then on to Yogaville in Virginia for seven days before we head to the Catskills in NY for an Introduction to Zen retreat on April 5th. After that we’ll head to Niagara Falls. A friend said, “You will be blissed out by that point.”
Being blissed out at the top of Niagara Falls sounds pretty awesome to me. (At least this is what we think we are going to be doing….unless we get the inspiration to head somewhere else?)
The Inner Journey
Imagine…detaching from your worldly possessions and packing everything you will need for an entire year in the back of a small SUV. Getting rid of the stuff was a big part of the journey itself. We got rid of so much ~ clothes, furniture, books, junk, the house and years of excess. Letting go of some things was hard, but for the most part, honestly, it was easy and long overdue. I admit beforehand I had been anxious, however, the minute that truck pulled away I felt an overwhelming and wonderful rush of relief. It felt like freedom.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my stuff. I love my piano, my bed, my shoes, my books. I love nesting and creating beautiful living spaces. I love flowers, gardens, and home projects. But for now, I love not having all the stuff. For now, I hear the deep longing for freedom.
Take a moment and calculate how much of your energy goes into taking care of all of your stuff.
Getting rid of the material stuff and normal everyday responsibilities is only one step on the path to true freedom ~ inner peace. The task for me now is to not fill these freshly emptied spaces with other stuff. We know it won’t be physical stuff because there is literally no room in the car. But there is always a vast inner space, that if not revered and guarded carefully, can get filled up quickly with quite a bit of junk ~ things like worry, anxiety, managing, controlling, doubting, over-planning, boredom.
My intention on this journey is to take complete advantage of this special and unique opportunity. I am dedicated to being present and mindful, hearing my voice of truth, wisdom, and love, and then to being courageous enough to listen and follow. My desire is to not only have a breath-taking outer journey but a life-changing inner journey as well. And I look forward to sharing it with you.
From My Point of View
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know what you will risk
for the adventure of being alive.
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer
I have had the privilege of reading Kathy’s blog since she first began writing three years ago. I love her wisdom, her honesty, and how she has spoken from her heart. When we decided to do this “walk-about,” she said she wanted to blog about the journey and I thought it might be fun to ~ on occasion ~ add a little masculine energy, perspective, and insight. I say ~ on occasion ~ because I know there will be many times that Kathy will want to share or inform and I will want to just experience or be.
I also hope to get back to my photography on this trip and my contribution will be to share my photographs. My biggest challenge will be to put down my IPhone 5, which is easy but has its limitations, and pick up my Canon 5D and finally learn how to use it! I’m a simple guy and this camera (like my IPhone and our new car) is so complicated that it has intimidated me. So it’s time to face my fear and just do it. It is a Nike moment for me and I hope I have many of them along the way. One of my new sayings is If not now, when?
I tell all of you this so that you will feel free, after a reasonable time, to ask “So what’s happening with your real camera, Michael?” We all need friends to help us stay on our path.
I leave today without expectations, but rather with a sense of gratitude, joy, and wonder. And I go with my eyes and heart wide open to all that will come our way.
Come and Join Us on The Journey
We hope that throughout the year you will keep clicking through to see where we are. We are requesting input and feedback from all of you. Tell us where you’d like to go. Make suggestions for us. Ask us to check some places out for you! We are also hoping some of the places we visit and the experiences we share will ignite your life and maybe even set you off on your own spiritual journey. We’d love to hear from all of you.
Tags: Agape Church, Asheville, Birth2012, Center for Spritual Living, David Whyte, Homefree, Journey, NC, Sophia Institute, Southern Dharma Center, Spiritual Journey, Spiritual retreats, Yogaville, Zen Mountain Monastary
28 Responses to “The Journey Begins”
I look forward to your updates. Best of luck to you and your husband on your journey.
I’m currently a bit of a nomad now too but for one-month and in Morocco. Let me know when you work your way back to SF.
I am so excited for you and Michael and can’t wait to hear more as you progress on your “Journey of a Lifetime.”
May you be blessed and peaceful on your journey. I will call all the angels to join you when I think of you both. Know that you are are thought of with great love and admiration when you enter my thoughts. Annalisa
Would love to meet you both when you are in Virginia! Yogaville is not far from Charlottesville, and you would have a chance to come have a slice of my Best Key Lime Pie on the Planet at Citizen Burger Bar! Any chance?
Congratulations on your wanderings. So look forward to each and every update! Exciting things are happening in my life, in the event you are curious, check out my blog! ;0)
Have a great trip! Will miss you and can’t wait to hear all about it!!!
By the way, Bryce Canyon is beyond words.
Michael, I returned to a camera two years ago when I switched to digital and a year later, bought my second camera. Check out my blog where all the photography is mine, in one of my favorite places, western Albemarle County, Virginia.
Before you know it your Cannon will be an extension of your arm and you will feel naked without it. Nice camera, and cannot wait to see your results! Diane
I am thrilled to hear about your new journey – what a blessing and what an adventure! If you find yourselves going to Yosemite, there is a spot that’s not too far off a main path that holds the most momentous, spiritual slice of scenery I have ever seen. Travel safe.
Mike, Kathy – it is wonderful that you have begun this journey. I am sure it is scary in some ways – but mostly thrilling! I am traveling vicarioulsy with you both. Great travels and learning. Have fun!
I cannot wait to follow along on your journey!!
Jim and I hold you in our hearts and in the Light as you make your way…
Literally and figuratively. I treasure the way in which you are letting the Beauty you love be what you do.Traveling mercies and love, Sally
I am looking forward to living vicariously through you, Kathy!
Wishing both of you the journey of a lifetime!
Thank you for sharing your experiences along the way!
I look forward to hearing all of the vibrant details!
Safe and happy travels!
You are inspiring many of us to rethink all the STUFF in our lives…and to be better participants in the JOURNEY!
Safe travels. You are blessing up with your journey by extension!
Kathy, blessing to you both on your journey. I look forward to the season in my life where my husband and I will be doing the same thing.
If you stop in the Kansas City, Missouri area, on your way home please contact me and let me know if you need a place of respite. We would love for you to stay at my retreat center, The Journey Home. It is truly a beautiful place. The website is journeyhomeretreats.com if you want to take a look. We would love to have you come stay there and spend some time rejuvenating.
May your journey be an experience of awe and compassion.
Totally jealous. I want to do this in a few years. Thanks for being the adventurous trend setter and paving the way, literally as well as figuratively. If you make it to Quebec check out the ice hotel. That was the highlight of our trip in 2008. Those Canadians really know how to relish in their winter weather.
Would love to be a bug on the wall when you two are silent for 5 days!!
Your journey is awesome already! All the best, Barbara Melton
Dear Kathy and Michael,
I am so thrilled for the two of you! I look forward to following you and being insprided through your endeavourous journey! I have optimism you will both find good hairdressers along the way!!
Best wishes and safe travels, Kelly
Have an incredible time. I look forward to following your adventures! Such an inspiration.
Michael and Kathy,
So wonderful that you did this blog, I will look forward to checking in on you and your travels. We have discussed many times the freedom of “stufflessnes” I know you will gain much from it. We will be thinking of you.
Robin and Bruce
This is just awesome…really & truly. Congrats on the adventure of a lifetime and super exciting you do it as a team:) Safe travels & can’t wait to follow along.
We are both so thrilled at the response to our journey…both here on the blog and people emailing and calling in their support. We’re already off to a glorious start….here in Asheville, NC….can’t wait to tell more about it….love all of you and feel like you are wishing the best for us…that really makes a difference……with love, Kathy
I am just so excited for both of you. What an adventure!
“How can I dwell within this circumstance in the highest possible way?” As you know this has been my mantra with my recent illness. However, I think it may be good to remember when you and Michael find your close quarters a little too close. Remember love.
Thanks for sharing.
You two are my heroes!
Leap and the net will appear!
Just reading your BLOG made my day..
Good luck with that silent retreat and that old camera.
Sending love your way, and thanks for not leaving me behind!!
Spending you wishes for an amazing journey! Look forward to your updates! Can’t wait to hear all that you learn andvfindvalong the way.
we are rarely more keenly alive than when something to which we’ve dedicated so much of our energy and attention comes to fruition.
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