the train ride down memory lane

I’m on a train, sitting facing backwards. A broken down building and crushed cars were just in view.  A few cows too. I’m wearing a long black sleeveless dress and my cowboy boots because my destination and cowboy boots go together like coffee and cream.

As an added bonus, my boots make me happy. My entire outfit does. I don’t waste my time putting anything in or on my body anymore that doesn’t feel joyous.

About 48 hours ago, I was navigating my way through a very busy part of Seattle. In anticipation of a seminar I was presenting at Amazon. It’s material I created a few years ago when my personal self-discovery journey started. It’s called Finding Your Center of Power. I define your center of power as the intersection between the things that bring you joy, your innate strengths and talents and your personal definition of success.

As my life shifts and changes around me; these anchor points, as well as my core desired feelings (CDFs) are my onboard guidance systems. I use them to triage any choice I make; does it bring me closer to how I want to feel? If the answers is yes, I lean in.

A glimpse out the window and I see two people and two dogs in a wide open lot and I’m transported back in time.  When I first moved to WA, I was with a former boyfriend. My intention was to attend university somewhere where the options when I got out of school were greater than what the Hawaiian Islands had to offer.

I moved to Seattle in November and by February my 3.5 year relationship with said boyfriend was over. I was 21 and in a new city by myself. I knew three other people in the state (besides my coworkers) who were not connected to my boyfriend.

One of them had a family who was traveling for 3 weeks and needed a house sitter. It was a place to land for a bit. After meeting the family, I was invited to help in exchange for room and board. Everything I owned at the time fit into the back of a Ford Explorer.

Three weeks turned into nine months, and that stretch of time changed my life.

Dan, the father of the family was a hunter and had trained hunting dogs as pets. There were two when I moved in; Moose and Sam. Moose would stay with me (along with the three cats, the iguana named Bob and the hedgehog) when everyone traveled. Sammy, the clear favorite and a fabulous dog, was always continuing his training when the family traveled.

When everyone was home, Dan, Sam and I would go out to a field and continue his training. Animals and nature have always been a thing for me, so these moments were very special. Dan died a few years back from complications related to cancer. I miss him regularly.

At times when my life feels in shambles, the ache for his wisdom becomes even more tangible.

The views along this train route are reminding me of him and our time together.

I can’t help but think that HE would know how to help me right now. He would know just the right words to say. He would know exactly how to remind me of my power and my capabilities.  

I’m traveling because things are feeling muddy. Distance from my normal day-to-day habits and routines has a way of refreshing and resetting the perspective of things. I find it helpful to get out of my own way to gain an alternative view of any situation.

I’ve got some fairly big and life-altering decisions coming up and at the moment; tuning into my intuition and listening to my internal guidance system has been a static-filled line at best. This trip called to me loudly and with clarity and so I’m here; eyes and heart open; waiting for the clear leads I’ve called the universe to provide.

In any situation, where I’m lost, I always find it best to ask for help. From people, from my trusted tribe and/or from the universe. Sometimes from all three.

I always forget how easy it is to ask. I forget how challenging it is to be patient and listen.

It is however, truly that simple. Tune into what matters most to you, how you want to feel, what brings you joy and from that place, ask for guidance. Then listen and act when you feel called to do so.

That is what brought me here. That is what put me on this train. That is what brought me down memory lane and gave me the gift of those special moments with Dan. The beginning of my journey in this stunningly beautiful part of the world.

These are the roots of my courage, my fearlessness and my resiliency and an independent woman in the face of the unknown. This is a reminder of my power to create; when I juxtapose the beginning to now, I can SEE it.

That is why I'm telling you this story. I can only trust that you needed to hear it as much as I needed to tell it.

Travel well, beautiful soul.

“May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you guide your way on.” - Irish blessing.