Click on this link for my album of photos from my week in the Mt Rogers, VA High Country from August 3 – 7, 2017:
July 26, 2017
Raise your hand if you have stuff in a storage unit! Today, I get to celebrate that my rented storage space is empty!
I admit, I can’t claim complete victory over storage because my stuff has actually just been relocated to storage in my son’s new residence in Ohio, but this is a step. He is using some of the household items that were stored.
I enjoyed poring through one of the boxes that was filled with artwork and writings from my sons’ youth. I got to feel a range of emotions as I fingered each piece and stirred memories of their making.
And now my physical presence in Buena Vista, Virginia, is gone. I’ll always feel connected with this small town on the Appalachian Trail because it was my home for the six summers I worked here as AT ridgerunner. When I sold my house after my divorce in 2013, this was the place that made most sense to store the stuff I couldn’t part with.
Today, I close the door on the empty Unit #71 with gratitude that it safely contained my precious things for four years. Thanks to my son, Simon, for offering me space in his home!
May 21, 2016
I realized that my colored pencils are watercolor pencils! Well, not the yellow, actually. That made the blending uneven.
This reminds me of adjusting preferences in life. When something is important, I figure out how to do it within various circumstances. That may require adjusting details, methods, tools, timing. The essence or value of the habit remains, or even expands, as it is incorporated in a new setting.
As I think of examples, I’m coming up with a long list!
☆ Getting whole grains in various living situations
☆ Staying in touch with significant people while hiking
☆ Walking in Nature in various homes
☆ Cooking, washing, etc. on trail and also in different houses and living situations
Perhaps the basic lesson from this is that being comfortable with adjusting the details of lifestyle preferences is a good foundation for a fulfilling nomadic lifestyle!
That’s the kind of conversation available in the HeartSinging Walk Community!
What will it take to know myself as someone who confidently requests and receives money in exchange for my coaching? Today, I acknowledge my belief that I’m acting as if these statements are true: “It’s not ok to request payment for hiking consultation because others do it free.” AND “It’s silly to think that hiking coaching could be my real job! Ridgerunning is a real job, nature interpreting is a real job, but coaching while hiking can’t be a real job.”
Here it is! What occurred to me in today’s experience is “starting with blank space, I engaged in applying the colors in a systematic way and now there’s a beautiful painting. I didn’t visualize it ahead of time or plan it out, except to work in a circle this time instead of horizontal patches. What if doing business is like that too? Taking the steps of presenting content with inherent value, just like the colors, and present them in a systematic way, allowing their natural value to entice others to invest their own energy to participate in the activity themselves.
What do you think? Is this valuable to you? Do you have valuable content that you’re reluctant to offer? Do you have experience in making this shift in your own business?
I want to hear from you!
Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
OR schedule a chat with me here:
Chat with Regina
What do I wish for? People in my life who thrive with transforming Stories. That’s my projection, my vision for myself. Oh sure, my community has its STORYs. We also get right to work on the steps of transforming them – feeling, flipping the switch, reframing, integrating. We laugh together at how good we are at creating situations for noticing our victim stories, then flow right into the 13 steps.
Nice vision, Regina!
Healing Dance with a Piano
I’m sitting at a piano feeling anxious, immobilized, indecisive and deeply sad. Why? What could a piano be doing that has me stopped in my tracks? Haven’t I been writing about how wonderful it is to be out hiking, even in deep snow at low temperatures. Haven’t I been making presentations about what I’m willing to do to be in the presence of overwhelming beauty? Didn’t I declare 10 months ago today that I was now a nomad?
It’s just a piano! I don’t have a house, I can’t have a piano, right? Well, that’s just it! This isn’t just any old piano, it’s the piano that I bought 30 years ago to lighten my heart. It’s where sang songs with my children. It’s the instrument that freed my inner musician while I mastered the first two books in the Suzuki School. It bonded me with my son as he blossomed as a cellist, giving voice to the duets we played together. It was an instrument of healing in the community Shepherd’s Play that softened my heart to forgiving the Waldorf Community for dashing my dream of taking a class through their 8-year schooling journey.
So, it’s not just a piano. Its strings are heartstrings. And now, as my son, who has been keeping the piano for the past 10 months, moves away to his own house-free living situation, it appears that the piano must move into its own new life.
The problem is that I don’t know who’s going to get it. I was so happy at first that my son would have it. Now, he can’t take it either and the piano’s unknown future leaves me sad and unfulfilled and grieving.
Stop! Whoosh! My story just changed in a flash! Continue reading
Well, we did it! Walked in the mountains of Pennsylvania for six days in snow, with temps down near zero a couple of nights. It’s strange how significant this rather short walk seems, even though I’ve walked so many other long walks in the past six years.
Why is that, I wondered.
Is it because the wintry conditions were challenging and this was a new trail for me?
Is it because walking is my new lifestyle and that perhaps my walking has value not just for myself but for others too? Is it because now, as I walk, I’m more keenly aware of the transformational qualities of the journey and I’m flooded with the metaphorical qualities of my walking for other aspects of my life – my general way of being, my business?
Is it because I’m making choices about a new relationship and noticing all the opportunities that come up each day to either go unconscious into my Old Stories or expand into Love with a New relationship story?
Is it because I’m constantly asking myself “how can my walking be of service to others” and help me walk into my own dream of joyous prosperity?
Well, yes, to all of those questions! I’ll keep pondering them and wondering if you, dear reader and follower of my journeys, have similar questions about your own journey – on trails, in cities, in new businesses or old, new relationships with others or yourself, or similar yearning to create a New Story for your own life.
I’ll keep this short today because I’m on the road for the next few days headed to Georgia to join the Trail Dames at their annual trip to the Hike Inn. I’ll get to share fresh tales and pictures from this walk in the evening program.
I’ll leave you with a few snapshots of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail and be back next week with more details! Thanks for reading!
We followed the Yellow Blazes of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail for 70 miles. In addition to the frequent yellow paint marks on trees and posts, there were 18″ high concrete pillars etched with a number at each mile point! That was encouraging on the 14-mile days when we were plowing through 5″ of powdery snow!
Occasionally, stands of Hemlock trees rose majestically, creating dramatic contrast with the bright snow.
The last three miles of the Laurel Highlands Trail took us on a steep 1000′ descent from the Laurel Ridge to the Youghiogheny River, Viewpoints like this one jutted out from the trail. We were NOT tempted to veer off our snowy path to look through the curtain of snowflakes to get a look at the icy river below!
Blessings on your own journey!
Tell me about it!
I’m coasting on the thrill of an amazing walk with gratitude for the privelege of walking to my heart’s content! To celebrate this abundance, I’m offering my upcoming course, Journey to YOUR Heartland for another couple of days for an amazing price. Come check it out and join me in February for an exploration of STORIES.
This will be a short note while I take a break in Shawnee State Park Lodge. That’s in Ohio on the Buckeye Trail, which I’ve been “hiking” for the past month. I put that in quotes because my partner, John, and I have been engaging with this trail in a unique combination of walking, riding bikes, and driving. A lot of the route follows roads, so we’ve been relieving sore feet from many miles of roadwalking by driving them.
But that’s not what I want to tell you about. What I want to share is a close up and personal look at ME caught up in one of my biggest, hugest, most limiting “Stories”.
Because I’m so excited for this breakthrough, this “Story Busting” that I just have to share it! My hope in sharing it is that maybe you’ll be encouraged to wake up to catching yourself in a story and try out the steps to freeing yourself from those old, energy draining stories.
So, here’s how it happened.
I’m ignoring my hiking partner with whom I usually talk with pretty easily. I’m imagining what it will be like when we split up and he’s off hiking by himself and I’m going my own way, focusing on my business and on a new project that may develop here in Ohio. I’ll share more about that later, but it’s not so important right now. Anyway, I was really noticing how down in the dumps I was, how negative and really caught up in imagining the worst possible scenario. I was making up a depressing drama of breaking up, being alone, being all self-righteous and sure that I HAD to pursue things in my own way. I was being sarcastic and hardly talking at all.
My creative thoughts AND my energy were hiding. I wasn’t even enjoying the beautiful forest very much.
And that’s how I went to sleep. Gratitude? Forget it. My life just wasn’t working.
In the morning, I realized that I probably had a little more choice about this than I was allowing. I’m a Radical Forgiveness coach, after all. Shouldn’t I be able to shift this energy? I started to argue with myself, like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings.
“It’s all true, Precious. Don’t you know that no matter what, you’ll have to pursue your career on your own? Don’t you know that you can’t have a partner AND a career that you love? You can’t have both! Don’t you know that?”
“But it’s so sad that way! I can’t live that way! There’s no way out of this! Poor me!” etc.
I woke up.
“This is my STORY! It’s played out in my life before! And it was even very close to this spot geographically! It was in this very county three decades ago that I gave up my career to have a partner!”
“But, who will I BE without this story?” I noticed how reluctant I was to give it up. I wanted to be right. After all, if this was just a story, maybe I could have given it up the other times I had played it out.
“Gads! I had even divorced my husband with whom I played out this story. What if I could have changed my story instead of my partner?”
But, I reached for the 13 Steps to Radical Forgiveness and asked John to read them to me.
Step 7 – “Can you be open to the idea that you only get upset when someone resonates in you something that you’ve denied, repressed, and projected onto them? And that what is upsetting you about the other person is a part of you that is crying out to be loved and accepted?”
“That’s it!” That part of me is that I can have a partner AND a profession! OMG! “I never believed that before and I’ve made it right just like I believed it!”
Tears flowed and the rest of the steps unfolded. I said “Yes” to them all. As the day went on, with many miles of the Shawnee Forest falling under my feet, I started imagining how I could have a partner AND a career that I loved. John and I played around with a few ideas. Nothing is clear yet, but I am no longer assuming that things can’t work out. I’m open to MY NEW STORY: I have a partner AND my joyful profession!
Hmm. I said this would be short. I guess it took a bit of telling. Thanks for reading!
In joy, Regina
P.S. Do you have a STORY that’s running your life? Do you want a NEW STORY? The first step is to tell the old one.
Join me in Journey to YOUR HeartLand, a four-week telecourse to
- Discover your own story
- Learn how to switch off the energy drain of your old story
- Love yourself just as you are
- Step into a new story that you CHOOSE
After a full week of walking along the Miami-Erie Canal Towpath, along country roads, and through small towns in rural Ohio along the Buckeye Trail, I’m convinced that walking is my calling.
- Walking as an exercise tones my body and gets my thoughts clear and my creativity flowing.
- Walking in Nature connects me to Spirit and to the realm of infinite possibility and joy.
- Walking through towns connects me with people.
Meeting people used to be scary for me, but now that I am living my own favorite expression, meeting people is a delightful stream of magical encounters. This week, my hiking partner, John, and I have met over a dozen generous people just by doing our walk!
Here are the stories of a few of them:
Minnie walks for exercise regularly in St. John the Evangelist Church in Delphos, OH. “I walk for 30 minutes a few times a week. While I walk I say my rosary. If I get finished with one rosary, I just start over and say another one. “
“That makes exercising and praying go together, bringing the spiritual world and human world closer together.” I said.
“Oh, I know about that! Here’s something that happened that still gives me chills to tell it.. Just a couple of weeks after my mother-in-law died, I sat up one night hearing a harp playing. It was very loud and it was a whole orchestra! I nudged my husband, ‘Do you hear that music? He said yes, he heard it too.’ I’m hesitant to tell people, because they might think I’m crazy. But, it was so beautiful. If heaven is like that, I want to go there!
“I certainly believe you, and I’m really happy for you for having that experience with Heaven. Maybe it’s closer to us than we realize most of the time. Thanks so much for sharing that with us.”
Linda manages the IGA in Ft. Jennings. She was very curious about our walk. We chose several items there: peanut butter, noodle sides, tuna, coconut, animal cookies.
“Do you take debit cards? “
“Oh no, sorry. Only cash.”
“OK. Well, I have $6.00 in cash. Well, really seven counting my coins. But, we’ll choose a few items.”
We chose the animal cookies and the peanut butter for a total of $5.95
And she didn’t mind reshelving the groceries we left behind.
Millie had answered a call from Sam from the Buckeye Trail Clubl for a place to camp in Ottoville. Mille and I played message tag and we found out we could indeed camp in her yard. She would pick us up in Ottoville. We walked into town and past Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 6:15 p.m. I called Millie, who said she’d be right over to the church.
“Did you see the church?”
“Just the outside. It’s dark inside.”
“I know how to turn on the lights.”
“Then, Yes, we’d love to see it.”
Millie went in first, bidding us to wait in the back while she walked up the dark aisle through the sanctuary to the sacristy. Click. Click. Banks of lights gradually lit up the heavenly reaches of the church.
“Oh God, it’s beautiful,” I cried. “It’s easy to feel close to God in here.”
The Mary’s blue highlights of the corners of the archways magnified the reverence to Mary, the Mother of God, to whom this church is dedicated. The rose-colored marble panels and pillars of the sanctuary evoked a heartfelt warmth and Earthly connection through Mary’s intercession. Even though Millie shared her own disappointment in the sacrifice of the old majestic altarpiece for this simpler one, I enjoyed the symbolic artistry of this wondrous architectural prayer.
With the help of my ever-present headlamp, Millie restored the building to its darkness and we left the church. That was the first spot on our tour of Ottoville. We were impressed with the comprehensive facilities in this little town, from city services, new park, and Subway sandwich shop, to DoItYourself store and new bakery, chiropractor and dentist, all within a few blocks. Millie was again not happy with the demise of several historic buildings along the Miami-Erie Canal channel – liveries, hotels, and school. We didn’t notice them missing though.
Our stay with Millie was pure delight! She never even mentioned camping out, offering us dinner of her unique soup. “Nobody likes this soup, but you’re welcome to it” We loved it.
“Do you want bread with that? I usually eat popcorn. You’re welcome to that, but you’ll have to shell it yourselves.”
That was fun!. “
And here are hickory nuts” She cracked them open with a hammer on her vise.
She showed us the potted begonias, strawberries, and other perennials stashed on shelves for winter.
Around the stairs were four Tupperware bins – “Worms. They help improve my garden soil.”
Our lively conversations filled the night ‘til 10 p.m. Maps, memories of Ottoville, family stories, dog petting, and multiple servings of bean soup and fresh popcorn turned us strangers into friends. The popcorn was the best I’d ever had. It tasted like corn!
Irene I was embarrassed that my hiking partner had put his trekking poles on the coffee counter at the convenience store in Ottoville. As I reached to pick them up, I caught the eye of a woman who smiled and said, “You’re taking a long walk?”
“Yes. We’re walking the Buckeye Trail.” She had so many questions which led to her sharing her own story about recently moving back to Ottoville to build a house and resettle. Her heart was still connected to St. Louis as well because that’s where her step-daughter lives. Her eyes lit up when she said, “She’s really my daughter, because I raised her. Her mother left when she was young.” Her phone rang. In a minute, she came back laughing, “You won’t believe who that was! My sister, Millie! You stayed at her house last night.”
Now, Ottoville is a small town, but the magic of meeting Millie’s sister was pretty wonderful. We walked out of that little canal town with two friends. Walking spins that thread of friendship, and I feel oneness with humanity.
Farmer’s Wife I didn’t get her name, but I listened with compassion as she shared her story of disappointment with her job at Family Services in Paulding. Soon she’ll retire, though, she explained, and work only on her husband’s farm. And that’s hard work! The day I met her, she was walking on the woods path on the edge of the corn field waiting for her husband, the farmer, to call her. “I’m the Go-fer.”
What goes through my mind when I hear her story is confirmation that a common belief in our culture is that life and work have to be hard and disappointing.
“Is that true?” I wonder.
What would happen if lots of people shift to heeding the call of what they love to do more than what they ‘should’ do? What if more people did what was joyful and fulfilling more than what is disappointing and unfulfilling?
This story was written by Hiker John:
We were happy to finally make it back to the wooded Tow Path along the Canal after a long country road walk. The soft ground felt good underneath our feet. The familiar and friendly blue blazes of the Buckeye trail had led us to this place. We noticed that adjacent to the path, a Combine was harvesting a field of corn. Regina met a woman walking down the path who was helping with the harvest. While Regina and the woman were talking I simply had to pee. Excusing myself for a while, I then returned to hear another voice.
It was a very loud voice, demanding to be heard. It was that of the woman’s husband, the farmer, expressing anger that the trail was crossing “his” land. His angry words were hard to listen to at first and Regina almost retreated back to the country road to escape his barrage of acquisitions and complaints. I really wanted to continue hiking forward along the Buckeye Trail so I needed to carefully listen to what he was saying behind his upset to come to an understanding. I let the farmer play the “blame” game.
He was upset that someone had re-painted the blue blazes along the Tow Path after he had removed them. He was concerned about liability in case someone got hurt (there are a lot of large gopher holes). He was afraid of losing his farm (which he had worked many years to create) if someone sued him. He was upset that the state of Ohio had established the Buckeye Trail across the Tow Path public right-of-way that he believe was his private property. He was upset that a local school group had once parked a bus blocking access to his field sand that a bunch of kids were walking around on the tow path. He was upset about 4 wheelers using the Tow Path. Most of all he was upset that people were not asking him if they could cross this section of trail and that trail users in the past had responded angrily and disrespectfully back to him.
After listening and acknowledging his upset, I asked if Regina and I could please continue our hike across “his” property. I also got his contact information and later gave it the Buckeye Trail association so they could create future dialog and an agreement of trail right of way could be made. What had started off as a hostile encounter turned into one of more mutual respect and greater understanding of differing points of view. Even though all the trail issues along the Buckeye may not be resolved yet, with cooperation and patience I believe everybody’s voice can be heard. The Forgiveness Rose protected us, but all the yelling made Regina and I a little more wary of the corn fields lying just beyond our little Tow Path trail.
Larry and Carol As evening approached, we reached Ft. Brown. Where would we camp? Our list of campsites in the Delphos Secttion of the Trail, provided by Sam Boniface of the Buckeye Trail Club included the name of Larry who let hikers camp on his property on the bank of the Auglaize River. I called the number.
“Yes”, Carol replied. “You can camp here. Just look across the bridge and you’ll see our house with the driveway leading down to the river.”
I got confused and called back. The call dropped. We could see two people inside the kitchen and bravely knocked on the door.
“Oh! You’re the hikers. Come on in! Do you want dinner? We’ve got pot roast. We were going to go out to eat, but decided to just stay home this evening. How about something to drink? Root beer? Creme soda? Oh, and here’s a bag of candy from Halloween.”
Carol wouldn’t let us say no. We ate heartily.
Meanwhile, Larry had been outside building us a fire. He had said he would bring down some firewood, but he even built the fire! Carol urged us to take down chairs.
We had set up our tarp and were enjoying the fire when Carol came out and said, “I just couldn’t let you sit out here by a fire without hot dogs! We couldn’t refuse.
In the morning, we walked up the hill to Larry’s tool and dye shop where he had invited us for morning coffee and use of the bathroom. Then, we got a full tour of his shop, learning all about the production of plastic arrow knocks and the multi-colored feathers on arrow shafts. It was getting late in the morning. We wouldn’t be getting an early start!
“What else can we give you? A calendar (from the shop)?”
“No thanks. Too heavy.”
“OK. Well, you can at least use a pen inscribed with our name!” That worked.
After photos with Carol and Larry, we were ready to walk on, two more friends on our list.
But not until our pockets were filled with Larry’s homegrown English Walnuts!
We couldn’t say No.