Tag Archive | mountains

Laughter is an Instant Vacation

laughterI have not laughed as much in years as I have this past week. Having my daughter here in town with her best friend has been wonderful. There has not been a dull moment, to say the least. Why is it that when you finally settle down after a huge laughing session, that you feel so spent? What an amazing feeling!

Milton Berle said it best: “Laughter is an instant vacation.” I have spent many years taking myself too seriously, drudging through each day as if I was on some sort of mission, thinking only of the destination instead of the journey. But it is when we live in each moment that we find the most happiness. I remember working myself to exhaustion, just trying to get through until my next day off. But I can have an instant vacation if I simply live in the moment and enjoy every second, finding humor in mundane things.

The other night I went down to the pool with the girls after a long day at work. They were reenacting the scene from Dirty Dancing where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were practicing lifts in the lake. Now, may I remind you that these girls are 18 years old. I laughed so hard that I was crying. I realize this is one of those stories where you “had to be there” to find it funny, but I had to pass it along anyway.

lifts

As I sat there with my feet in the pool and tears streaming down my face, I realized that this week, I have been living in the moment. Even at my new job, I have been enjoying getting to know the residents in the community which I manage. I have been taking the time to laugh with them, and listen to their stories, even though I may have files piling up which I know I will get to eventually. It is those little things that make life worthwhile. Laughing at silly stories, taking time to look at the mountains on my drive in to work, sipping a cup of fresh coffee that has just been brewed.

Life is beautiful, not to mention FUNNY, if we simply take the time to look around.

~ Patti Crowley

 

 

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I Searched For My Soul

I searched for my soul but my soul I could not see.seeking

I searched for God but he eluded me.

I searched for my brother and found all three. Anon

 

This was heard last night, spoken by a new friend. I had to ask him to repeat it, as it took my breath away, literally. As a woman who just moved across country, alone, I found myself feeling a bit isolated one evening. All of the anticipation of this move, all of the excitement of a fresh start, a new career, and unlimited potential, slipped away for one short evening. However, that short evening felt like an eternity as the reality of my life appeared before me.

I came here to the mountains for many things. But the most important thing which I was seeking, was serenity. I prayed, hoping to find answers, and hoping to seek my soul that I had believed was hidden deep within the chaos of my life back home. But it is within me, waiting to be brought out. I thought I might find God, here in the mountains. But the truth of the matter is this… when I can connect with another human being, on a spiritual level, I have the opportunity to see my God and my soul…. maybe they are one in the same.

So, I will not isolate. I will continue to get out and say hello to every stranger I meet. For it is in connecting with another human being that I will find for what it is that I am looking. This cannot be misinterpreted as meaning that I will only find happiness in another. I believe we, as humans, are meant to connect with others. We cannot survive in isolation. We crave the human touch. We crave that personal connection we find in others. So I will seek those things daily. In so doing, I hope to find all of the wonderful things I have hoped to find. Truthfully, I don’t need to live near the mountains to find it, but it sure makes it more fun for me! ūüôā

~ Patti Crowley

Racing the Sun

racing the sun

This photo was taken on my 1770 mile drive from Chicago to Arizona last week. ¬†Okay, so I should not have been taking a photo while driving a 20ft U-Haul truck towing my car behind at about 70 mph… but I just HAD TO! ¬†You see, I was cruising along on the adventure of a lifetime, and it occurred to me that I was racing with the sun. ¬†Seemingly, the sun was taking an awful long time to set. I watched it reach the horizon, attempting to settle in for it’s peaceful slumber beyond the landscape, but it just would not go down. Each mile I traveled, it was still there, just out of reach.

This thought astounded me. The sky continually changed between beautiful hues of orange and red, to deep purple. I felt as though it was taunting me, begging me to hurry up. It reminded me of being a child and playing “You’re It”. The faster I drove, the further away that horizon seemed.

All of this made me think of my life, and how many times I have chased dreams, always feeling as though they were just out of reach. But, do you know what? I eventually arrived at my destination. I made the 27 hour drive in less than two days. That is less than 48 hours! I can honestly say that I did not feel fatigued or frustrated at any single moment on the journey. My spirit was simply jumping up and down inside of me with this immense joy and anticipation. The mountains had called to me, and when I crossed over into Arizona, driving through the inexplicable beauty of Flagstaff, chasing the western sun, I said aloud to the heavens, “Mom, I’m home!”

~ Patti Crowley

 

The World is No Substitute

Take Peace in the Lord-betty's photo
The world is no substitute
It comes from Spirit.

…………Wisdom……

– Betty S.

This haiku was written by a good friend of mine just this morning.  Sometimes I have to stop and marvel at the timing of things that I see, read, and experience. Just yesterday I was having a pretty deep philosophical discussion with a wonderful new friend. I was trying to express what I have been feeling during this week I am here in Arizona as I look out at the mountains, and watch the sunsets each day. Here is what I have discovered.

It isn’t so much the beauty of my surroundings, the fresh air I breathe in each day, or the clear blue skies themselves that bring me a peace I have never known. ¬†Instead, this beauty causes me to feel deep within some sense of KNOWING. Now here is where it gets difficult to explain, but I will make the attempt. When I see something beautiful like the McDowell mountain range which I drove alongside yesterday, I was nearly brought to tears at the beauty. But it was the feeling inside when looking outward that made me pause. Maybe it is because I felt like a child again, seeing Mickey Mouse at Disney World. That feeling of wonder and excitement that we rarely experience as adults. Or maybe it was just a recognition of WHO I am deep down.

I know that for me, I have spent a lifetime wondering how people view me from the outside. I never saw myself for who I am.  As strange as it may sound, looking outward at all of this beauty somehow made me look at myself in a different light. There is a feeling that the real me is emerging. My heart is open, along with my senses which are so receptive now, for possibly the first time since I was a child.

So in the words of my dear friend, Betty, I see that “the world is no substitute”. God, as I know Him, is not found in the mountains, or in the sunsets, or in the clear blue skies. Instead, He is found in the “Spirit”… my Spirit within. Magnificent!

~ Patti Crowley

A New View of My World

Inspiration pours in from every conceivable direction.  Moments like this validate my decision to look westward as a final destinationview from hotel balcony for living my life. Moments like this make me realize how truly small I am, and the realization sets in that there is no doubt of the presence of a power much greater than myself who created all of this beauty. No human hands could have ever created such magnificence, and for that I am humbled beyond words.

This morning, I sit on my balcony and look at out the majestic mountains, knowing deep within that I am exactly where I was intended to be. My daughter lies asleep in our resort room, exhausted from two days of house hunting & sightseeing. The 18 year old girl who very rarely ever picks up a book, choosing instead to watch hours of mindless tv at home, actually read an inspiring book cover to cover in two days from this very balcony. If that isn’t inspiration, I don’t know what is, and if you knew my daughter as do I, you would understand the significance of that!

Today, as I sit here drinking coffee on this balcony overlooking God’s creation at its finest, I feel inspired to begin anew. All of the dreams I have talked about, written about, and thought incessantly about are slowly becoming a reality. There were times at which I thought this was another one of my grand plans that I would most certainly never make a reality. ¬†With still a few hurdles to overcome, I feel confident that another chapter of my life is being written at this very moment. I will not put the pen down, I will not allow myself to be distracted by those little doubts and fears that find their way in, and I will continue to put one foot in front of the other. I am finding that the only way to fulfill your dreams is to simply take one little step in the right direction, do the next right thing, and do everything in your power to not look back over your shoulder. ¬†The moment is now!

~ Patti Crowley

Wrapped Up in Me

In less than a week, I will be in Arizona looking for a new place to call home. Majestic ¬†mountains, a quiet valley, a lone Cactus in bloom, ample sunshine, and 100+ degree heat… Crazy? I think ¬†not. Am I the ¬†conductor of my own orchestra, or is there something drawing me in, cajoling me forward? Regardless, the time has come.

The details seem endless.  The planning, overwhelming.  So my thoughts are constantly racing with things I have to do, ways to make this move a reality, and questions for which I want answers.  Yet there is the friend, reaching out, in need of my help.  Have I been so wrapped up in me that I am unable to provide a shoulder, offer guidance, or simply be present?  A daughter, preparing for graduation, anxious to enter her college experience, filled with anticipation, rattled nerves, but also big dreams.  Have I been too wrapped up in me that I have briefly relinquished my duty as mom, unable to offer assurance, listen to her reservations, her thoughts, her dreams?

So, I will pause for awhile today. Pause, not stop, and simply be in today.  All of the things I have yet to do, all of the dreams I have for myself, will still be there and do not have to be put on the shelf to collect dust.  I simply need to be present in today.  Allow myself to be open to others, to listen, to guide if necessary.

At this time, next week, I will be in the mountains, breathing in the clean air and taking in the beauty.  But for today, I will be here, not wrapped up in me, but looking outward.

– Patti Crowley