a different person. (part 1)

how does one even begin to process a realized dream?
a dream many years in the making?
a dream many revisions later?

the consummation of my grand scheme all coming together.
played out in an enchanting 100-year-old villa, in a northern italian village,
against a backdrop of majestic mountains and a magnolia tree.

magnolia at the villa

my ultra-supportive husband and my two closest friends by my side.
and in the foreground, my welcomed guests on a very important journey.
exactly where they needed to be, at that moment in time.

a whirlwind of sessions, activities, and events.
laughter, tears, and love.
still processing and thinking.
processing and thinking.

although THE ARRIVAL retreat-no-more experience had its requisite blips
(such as getting separated from my participants when the train doors closed),
it absolutely had its perfect moments.
many, in fact.

wednesday, the day in the middle, was an especially magical time.
one of those better-than-imagined days,
that happened to coincide with 8-months-in-italy on the calendar.

a dress-up dinner party,
during a metaphorically-dramatic summer thunderstorm.
italian friends helping to pull it all off.
spoken truths and unraveled revelations,
with self-recognized strengths and powerful breakthroughs as well.
still processing and thinking.
processing and thinking.

i’m sorting through the retreat specifics.
what to keep for next time, what to change, what to discard.

i’m reviewing the family-environment model,
the logistics of inviting participants into my home.

i felt the subtle-but-tingling mental shift at the close of my first retreat.
landing quite fittingly on the last day of june,
exactly halfway through the year.

a suitable-and-satisfactory reason to view it all
through the lens of THE CLIMB.
my word-of-the-year for the first half of 2017.

it’s been a steep uphill climb.
so reaching the summit has been all the more rewarding,
after the inevitable slips into tricky deep crevasses.

it makes my word-of-the-year for the second half,
with its double-purpose mission, even more apt and meaningful.

still processing and thinking.
processing and thinking.

villa magnolia has been reawakened, of course.
nearing the finish line, with its living spaces almost complete.
and yet far-to-go, with its tangled and expansive secret garden.
and its cellar regions, my colombo cantina.
still deciding too whether to retain the exterior’s old world charm,
or to bestow upon its surface a coat of fresh paint.

it’s primarily about me though.
i am in the midst of blossoming, of opening, of being reawakened.
a move to another country will obviously bring about changes.
that was always totally expected and even eagerly awaited.

but as i tearfully tried to explain to my childhood friends,
i have changed in ways i never could have imagined.
ways that i find nearly impossible to put into words.
still processing and thinking.
processing and thinking.

i am literally a different person.

i have grieved through past hurts and what-ifs,
while healing and defending my soul.
i have resorted back to toddlerhood,
while reaching a new level of maturity.

i have sunk to the depths of loneliness and despair,
while congratulating myself on milestones attained each day.
i have dissolved and reassembled my identity over and over,
while letting go of the final remains of who-i-never-ever-could-be.

yes, i am reawakening parts of myself formerly dormant or untouched.
but i’ve also had to temporarily shut down a few parts i still need,
out of necessity during this complete upheaval.
the rest of the year will be dedicated to reviving those areas.
(one of which i will reveal in next week’s blog post . . .)
still processing and thinking.
processing and thinking.

trying to embrace my true-to-me essence in its entirety.

because i am literally a different person.

me rosary 1
have you heard the news?!
i’ve announced the dates for my next retreat! :)

THE ARRIVAL retreat no more experience #2

october 23 through 27!
further details coming soon . . .
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(and receive my first travel size course, AWARENESS #1, as my complimentary gift to you!)
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oh my goodness, what goodness!

what can i even say?

although i didn’t find the time to jot down all of the daily details,
last month was overflowing with a mixture of wonder, light, and love.

oh my goodness, what goodness!

i wrote these still-true words last year, on june 1, 2016:

life is always surprising us, with that unusual mixture of heartache and joy.

roma in a day.

early (very early) morning train.
transferring to the metro.
losing our way (more than once).
the sistine chapel.
st. peter’s square.
walking, walking, walking (seven miles).
the so-called “hop on, hop off” bus.
a hot hot hot day.
the roman colosseum.

such splendor

THE ARRIVAL (during)
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(and receive my first travel size course, AWARENESS #1, as my complimentary gift to you!)
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woo hoo!

reunited. finally.

me, kellee, carol - arrivals in italy
me, kellee, carol in italy

my retreat staff has arrived. :)
click to receive my studio notes in your inbox each week.
(and receive my first travel size course, AWARENESS #1, as my complimentary gift to you!)
get my free course!

i look up at the moon

moon and pink clouds

when i’m feeling weary,
clear through to my core.
when my mind can’t think another thought,
when my body screams no more.

so many roads traveled,
yet still so far to go.
under the moon’s illuminating,
gently-guiding glow.

i look up at the moon,
and the moon looks back at me.

the idea

hey! i have an idea!

why don’t we leave our family and friends (including our 2 sons) and move to a foreign country, where we will be totally overwhelmed by a new culture and a new language?

and let’s take it one step further and go through the slow, complicated immigration process to stay legal and become residents (and eventually citizens).

5 things i know about pursuing a dream

5 things i know about pursuing a dream:

  1.  it takes a long long time.
  2.  it’s a lot of very hard work.
  3. there are many many setbacks.
  4. sometimes it seems certain it will never come to pass.
  5. knowing (finally) that it is actually about to happen makes #1-4 totally worthwhile.

the end goal

i try to stay as positive and upbeat as i can. i really do. and i’m usually successful. but the last two-and-a-half weeks have been a bit more than i’ve felt able to handle. they have tried my soul.

  • worrying about two family members, realizing our helplessness from afar
  • spending hours, once again, inside the complicated mix of immigration requirements
  • missing cues and clues, leading to a misunderstanding with a friend
  • shopping for cars, when we had no time to spare from renovation work
  • buying a car, with very different procedures for insurance and registration
  • sifting through still more piles of moldy dirty trash, even more disgusting when it’s someone else’s stuff
  • continuing to spread dust throughout the house, all over our floors and furniture and cats and clothes
  • voicing irritability and tension in unproductive ways
  • breaking a beautiful beloved vase (a wedding gift from a dear friend/cousin that has traveled everywhere with us for almost 29 years – including all the way to italy), trying to glue it back together, being forced to say a final goodbye
  • dealing with several odd health ailments
  • experiencing two small-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-but-still-disappointing developments
  • encountering a disturbingly rude individual (not of italian descent)
  • feeling TIRED TIRED TIRED, every single day, to the point that i cannot form a coherent sentence

my favorite flowers in my favorite vase
however, despite my very long list of complaints (and in a nod to last week’s “mindful” post), eric and i both continue to notice something positive.

unequivocally mindful

what does it really and truly mean . . .

1) to be mindful?
2) to live in the present?
3) to not dwell in the past?
4) to not worry about the future?
5) to revel in the moment?
well, when you are in a foreign-to-you country, in the midst of .