Since quitting my job and moving to South Carolina…


…I see the sky more.
I knew clouds were beautiful but the formations that I now have the time and space to notice are absolutely amazing. The above is an actual photo taken in spring 2017 in Florence, SC. Seeing these cloud paintings, and all the beauty of nature, reminds me of my Creator, the perfect example of Love.

…I can handle stress better. Tight deadlines and crazy plans don’t shake me like they used to. That doesn’t mean they don’t happen or I don’t react with the crazies, but I do react less and I can gain my footing faster when things crumble.

…I’m a better me – more patient more kind more tolerant, and I can allow more ease in my life. I’m taking more time to wellness in my life. Before, I would be in constant ‘doing’ mode. Now, I allow more time for ‘being’. My monkey mind still opposes often, and it’s ranting still deter me, but only sometimes.

…I can say, “No.” – make sure you read the period. I’ve always felt the need to follow my no’s with an explanation, or precede them with an “I’m sorry.” And I will admit, sometimes I still do it but knowing that I can say ‘no’ without any explanation has helped me agonize less about doing things I’d prefer not to. Now, I just don’t. Period.

…I’m a really awesome person. (selfie)
I’m smart and kind and a problem-solving wiz. I’m beautiful and I deserve love and happiness in my life. It’s really easy to forget these things when caught up in a daily grind with barely enough time to come up for air.

Beach vs backyard? On day 88 of #100daysofselfies the backyard won. #EnjoyingBeing #happysabbath

A post shared by Yes Roanne (@yesroanne) on

I’m not saying you need to quit your job to get these benefits. I do think that doing something bold and brave and that scares you, helps you on that path to #EnjoyingBeing: being your best you and thus living your best life. Sometimes, it’s just taking a moment to enjoy and appreciate the moments of joy that we do get.

And BTW, creating personal change, growing a new you in the midst of life happening can be scary, but is definitely bold and brave.

Saving and Earning Your Way To Personal Development

Saving has never been my strong point. Yet, I don’t think we give enough credit to saving as a mutual-faceted tool for personal development. It provides happiness on multiple levels. The pursuit of a goal is one way. Laying out a savings plan can be simple, the action steps even simpler, and the reward is very tangible. One missed paycheck could spell disaster for an individual or family. Knowing that you have a financial cushion is a wonderful stress reducer and lower stress alone can have many beneficial repercussions in our life.

A 2017 article on CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/12/pf/americans-lack-of-savings/ shared that six out of 10 Americans could not cover a $500 bill if they needed to. I will admit that was also me, at too many points in my adult life. And while I’m a long way from my money freedom goal, it feels good to be on my way. Money equals access and on this self-improvement journey, a journey of growing into my best self by overcoming challenges, it is something I am challenged to be better at.

But why is saving so hard for most Americans?

I believe that it was something that modern Americans never had to learn. According to this article from Wisebread, in the 1950s, after WWII, was when a large percentage of America started having discretionary income: extra dollars to do whatever we wanted with. Prior to this, saving was mandatory if you wanted to purchase anything of a significant price. But now, we can have houses, cars and any other grown-up toys that catch our attention, most often without a wait. Yet, saving is the smart thing to do, for now, and later.

So what am I doing?

I am a huge fan of tools, so while my income is not $500K, yet, here are tools I use to help me earn extra income and keep more of those earned dollars. Each of these tools are easy (most are quickly done too) because I believe if I have to spend a lot of time on it, then it doesn’t feel worth my time. Flexibility is another benefit I look for. Maybe you’ll find something on my list to add to yours.

Ibotta (Get a $10 bonus)

Ibotta is a rebate app, no stamps or envelopes required. Everything from activating the rebates to submitting your receipts is done right in the app. Some stores are linked to your loyalty card so you don’t even need to submit your receipt after your purchase.

I’ve been using Ibotta since April 2017, I’ve gotten back $120+; and this is from money I would have spent anyway because I do have to eat. What I love about Ibotta is how quick and easy it is to use. The search feature is very helpful, finding specific products and/or stores where the rebates are available. There is even a $10 enrollment bonus. NOTE: There is no minimum purchase (my friend bought a can of tuna that had a rebate), but you must submit your first receipt within seven (7) days of enrolling. Click to get the bonus.

Ebates (Get a $10 bonus)

Cash back for shopping at Groupon, Amazon, and Vitacost? Yes, please! I remember checking out Ebates maybe 10 years ago and was not in the least interested because the pickings were slim – not many stores and even less than I would regularly shop from. But they have grown and so have the options they offer. Seriously? Cash back from Groupon??!? #swoon

This was my very first rebate deposit from a single food purchase from jet.com through ebates. It does include my signup bones, but can you say sweet?!?

Thrift shopping

I love a bargain…why pay more if I don’t have to. When I purchased my first home, I probably spent $2000 total on furnishing the entire house, including a kitchen full of dishes. The highest cost item I bought was my mattress for $600 from Costco. Most everything else was thrifted, including a Lane Cedar chest that I paid $50 for. Salvation Army stores can be a good resource. I was fortunate to work across the street from a very large one. I also searched Craigslist and went to estate sales. This admittedly does take some time, but the finds can be pretty cool and the savings can be tremendous.

On the lookout for tricky labeling. (supermarket deals)

How long did it take you spot the deal in the above picture? Advertisers earn big bucks to separate you from your money, but it doesn’t take much to be a savvy shopper. Keep your eyes opened and read pricing labels. For example, in the pictures below, the more eye-catching yellow label reads “Low Price”, yet the closeout item tag is a darker color, but costs way less. I have found bronze die organic pasta for $.72 a pack on closeout. Keep your eyes opened and read pricing labels (yes, I said that before).

After you’ve saved all you can, how about earning some extra bucks?

Lyft is a ridesharing service with a better moral compass than Uber (in my experience.) Being a driver for a service like Lyft can be a win-win. First, you are providing a service to your community. Second, especially if you live where I do, any additional transportation option is helpful as the public transit system is almost non-existent and traditional taxis charge gouging prices. Lyft offers new drivers a bonus. For example, right now, new drivers in New Jersey can get an extra $800 in thier first 60 days. (Click here for a bonus code) and it’s super easy to sign up and start driving. As I’ve been a driver (in SC, NC and NJ) and in the spirit of what Lyft is as a community, you can message me if you have questions about driving for Lyft.

There have been several things that influenced my want to get better; two books worth mentioning are Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup and Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins; the latter is a very good audible listen. I’m on my second go-round. Additionally, these articles have additional ideas/suggestions on how you can find your savings dollars.

Huff Post article – 27 Sneaky Ways To Save $100s A Month
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/08/money-saving-tips-_n_5548116.html

The Budgetnista Blog
http://thebudgetnistablog.com/thebudgetnista-com/

Now that you have the scoop, which friend are you going to share these saving strategies with?

“Pause boo.”

Maybe this will be a blog post, maybe not.
I am sad.
I feel hurt.
I feel like I’ve suffered a big lost.
My water bottle was left in a taxi.
Yes, my 40oz, stainless steel, insulated, water bottle…in the back of the vehicle.
And I’m feeling pretty down about it. A little too down for my objective mind. But we are emotional beings, so what is up with this? It’s a bottle after all…a material thing that can be replaced. Yet, I want to cry. Just the way I wanted to cry last night when I allowed the events of the evening to make me eat later than I prefer.

I know what it feels like to be depressed and this is too close for comfort. I dislike that feeling and I dislike feeling it. Maybe it’s because the bottle was an investment for me, at a time when I was financially tight. I loved how it kept my water cold even without loads of ice. I even wrote it on my gratitude list the other night.

Or maybe this incident exaggerates the biggest issue of feeling like “I always get the short end of the stick.” Notice I said, “feeling like.” It’s a belief that comes up for me when things aren’t going so great. I know it’s not true because I have so many amazing blessings in my life, yet I still wish this feeling didn’t happen for me.

I’ve spent my last three weeks in NJ. When I’m there, I attempt to keep myself scheduled and on track by keeping my personal schedule light and lots of flex time for my family demands. Yet, my schedule more often than not gets the second chair. With everything else going on in my life, it’s hard not to feel like I’m coming apart at the seams when this happens. In that, it’s hard for me to find the emotional buoyancy I like to have.

Yet, for ease to be in my life, I’ve learned that must feel it, emotionally. Hence my One Word for this year, ‘release.’

– – – –

I drafted the above post while traveling this past summer. Because I’ve been ‘working on me’ for several years now, I’ve learned to be more objective even when I’m in my feelings. I’ve learned to pause.

Writing provides me a pause; so does anything that allows me to be fully in my body and mind – walking, yoga, art/craft, cooking, meditation, being in nature.

Pausing is one of the most important life tools we have, yet it is so underutilized. We as a human species are so disconnected from who we have the potential to be because we do not pause enough, some not at all. How can we hear God’s voice, our intuition, our spiritual GPS if we don’t stop long enough to listen? Even to use a process such as Rising Strong (by Brene Brown) we must employ the pause. The pause is necessary for #EnjoyingBeing.

I will leave you with some eloquent yet applicable words from Iynla Vanzant. You can read a summary of her SuperSoul episode here.

“…If you don’t take a minute to breathe, to gather yourself… you will do what you’ve always done,” Iyanla explains. “So, the lesson is: Pause. We go from being 20 to 30 without a pause. Thirty to 40 without a pause. We go from one job to the next. From one bed to the next,” Iyanla says. “Pause, boo. Take a breath…The truth will set you free, but you have to endure the labor pains of birthing it.”

How do you (or how can you) employ the pause in your life?

Let’s Chat: Zero sum or exponents?

First, let me define zero sum and exponents.

Zero sum means that your equation will always equal zero. In life, this translates to some win because some lose or some lose because others win. Exponents mean that whatever your number is, as it is multiplied by itself, it grows; slowly at first then very quickly to a large sum. Ex: 2(3) = 2x2x2 = 8 but 2 (6)= 2x2x2x2x2x2= 64. 2(9)

One of the lessons I learned as an adult is that life is not a zero-sum game, it is exponential. That includes everything, our wellness, business, our planet, everything.

Growing up, I saw many examples of living zero sum.  It seems to be what many people still believe. What I thought was the ‘how-to” for business was zero sum, evidenced by statements such as  “quash the competition”. But now, we have so many examples of businesses that are being socially responsible, caring for their customer, employees, suppliers and the planet and are thriving because of it, without squashing the competition.

Even Jesus does not play a zero-sum game. His love is accessible to everyone. The final outcome is based on our personal choice, not because there is not enough salvation to go around.

Exponents also play out in our health. If we are very ill and make a greater number of changes, our outcome is better and faster. The Ornish Lifestyle program is a great example of this. I summarize it as 1) Eat real food, mostly vegetables, 2) stress less, 3) move more, 4) love more. This program has been proven to undo heart disease, but you need all four components of it. You could pick just one or two and I’m sure it would make a difference, but you won’t have the same disease reversal.

Note before my conclusion: the best for someone, is what is best in their eyes, not yours.

My goal, and I hope you would share it, is to live an exponential life. Seek the best for all, in every situation. I believe it is the socially responsible thing to do and we will all be better off for it.

Catch this Let’s Chat here, and share in the comments here, or on Facebook, do you see life as zero sum and exponentially?

A Feeling About Your Feelings

Happiness is a feeling about your feelings...being...open to life.

“Exploring a new way of being with my emotions. It makes me so much more aware of them and it’s neither bad nor good.” This was my response to a question of “How are you doing” in one of the Facebook groups I’m a part of.

A lot of the personal growth work I did over this last summer involved sitting with my feelings (there was a lot of sadness), allowing myself to experience them fully without deciding on a conclusion about them. You can check out my post about my summer here. What I will attempt to do now is explain the why and how behind my approach in hopes that it helps you avoid getting tripped up by and stuck in your emotions.

Exploring our feelings of sadness (or anxiety, or fear, etc) can be scary because they are not something most humans enjoy and so those feelings are not something we want to explore. Thus it becomes easier to ignore them, push them aside, squash them down, choke them out – than to sit with them and feel them. I think people are also afraid that they would get stuck in those unwanted feelings. As someone who has experienced depression, I understand that all too well.

In her book Rising Strong and in her TED talk, Brene Browns says that we cannot selectively numb our emotions. Numbing is numbing and when we numb the sadness, (or disappointment, or fear), we also numb the joy (or gratitude, or happiness). Well, since not feeling is not the best option, we are left with actually feeling.

So what exactly did I do? When I noticed I felt sad or even just a little down, as soon as I could (because you can’t always just drop life to be with your feelings) I would find a quiet place to sit by myself. I would allow myself to experience whatever feelings were coming up and whatever thoughts accompanied them. Sometimes I questioned, sometimes I just felt, sometimes I prayed, sometimes I meditated, sometimes I cried, sometimes I journaled. I tried to keep top-of-mind the idea that my feelings and thoughts were things that came and went and did not define me or determine my life’s outcome. The first time I really acknowledged and invited that feeling of sadness to come sit with me (I actually said those words), it was very intense at first. But it could not have been more than a few minutes and the feeling of sadness was mostly gone. I was pleasantly surprised.

Since starting my little experiment/experience, I will admit that feelings of sadness have been more pronounced for what could be considered little things. They also don’t stay for long, just a few moments sometimes.  My biggest key learning from this is that with any change, good or bad, there is the potential for some degree of grieving. Our brains are effective habit creators; we don’t have to process every step of brushing our teeth or showering or after many years, driving. It’s our brains ways of making us more effective in life. But change, good or bad, disrupts our habits. Change means leaving something behind, good or bad. So sometimes, sadness can accompany even happy events. That does not make the event sad or make you a sad person. It’s just an emotion that is part of life’s process, and it will pass.

We run into a problem when we feel that sadness or other mal feelings are things to be avoided, things we must not feel. But what if we look at sadness as just part of our human experience? What if it was part of life the way breathing is? What if it is something that just comes and goes and has no bearing on defining our lives? After all, every human experiences these emotions. Why should I be exempt?

Gay Hendricks wrote, “Happiness is a feeling about our feelings.” Our feelings do not define us.  They are something we experience. They are there to help direct us on our path. They are not us. Realizing that I am not my emotions was a huge step in my #EnjoyingBeing journey.

I’ve experienced depression in my life and I do not share this as a medical advice. I do share this, as with everything I share, to expand your view of possibility. Sometimes, all we need is to realize things are possible and we can take it from there…despite what our emotions say.

Note: if you want to do the hard work of exploring your emotions but not by yourself, a helping professional such as a Life Coach can be a good resource.

Emotion characters from the Disney Pixar movie Inside Out. #recommended

Let’s Chat: Gut and Skin

Just google “gut and skin” and you’ll find over three million search results, suggesting that there is something to more than surface problems. There has also been a massive increase in evidence that our gut health affects all other aspects of our wellness. But, we’re here to talk about skin.

My skin in 2009. BTW, I used to photo my pictures, but you can still see the scarring and bumps on my face. My after face can be seen in this Let’s Chat video.

Here’s my skin story. As a kid, my skin was great. My skin maladies started in my early teens with the typical pimples and friends. By my late teens, it had progressed to massive scarring and me trying way to many lotions, potions, foundations and powders. For me however, I disliked the maintenance that makeup required so I decided that I needed to fix the foundation, my skin. That led me to a dermatologist in my early twenties and birth control to help with my breakouts. This began my lesson that ignorance is never bliss. The birth control exacerbated my underlying health issues and I quickly (in 6 months) slipped into nutritional deficiencies and depression.

It was a long journey over the next several years (through my twenties), trying to keep myself well with whatever nutritional knowledge I had, avoiding as much medication as I could. It took a lot of research and I did okay for a few years, until I had my second episode of atrial fibrillation. The first one was pretty bad. I had such anxiety that I would often have to pull over on the side of the road at least once during a twenty-minute drive.

I am ever grateful to my mother for being a constant learner and because of her own health issue, always exploring information in that area. It was my mom who connected me with the wonderful woman who is now my doctor and I’ve been working with her for almost nine years now.

As I slowly healed my insides, my skin healed too.

Like with weight loss, you cannot just ‘loose your stomach’. No part of your body exists in a vacuum, it’s all connected, including your emotions. My skin took time to heal, but so did my insides and my emotions.

I still have some scarring on my face and still get ‘skin issues’ popping up periodically. That’s usually a sign to me to pay more attention to what I eat and my lifestyle.

Digestion has also a standing issue for me, echoing a lot of what I read about the gut-skin connection. A baby who is breastfed develops a healthier digestive system (1), and has a better chance of avoiding teeth issues (2) and eczema (3). I also have several personal family examples that illustrate the connection between the gut and these issues. PS: I’ve had teeth issues too. (See the gut-healing protocol I used to help my teeth here.)

But does that mean we treat inside and ignore the outside? Not at all. So here is what I typically do.

– Be kinder to me. Unless you have an esthetician that uses a magnifying glass to look at your skin, chances are no one else sees as many blemishes as you. So go a little easier on your self and your skin.
– Wash with a mild soap or periodically skip the soap altogether.
– Exfoliate every couple days with a cloth. I have one I acquired at a Korean spa, but a washcloth works well too.
– Use food based oils on your skin – cocoa butter, olive oil, shea butter, castor oil, grapeseed oil, and more. Food-based so my chance for unnecessary chemicals and ingredients is less. The oils listed have been used on the skin for generations and by many different cultures. I do like trying new commercial products, but I don’t often and there is none I can currently give a good recommendation on. Apply the oil sparing, you only need a little. Also, if you have scarring, cocoa butter is great for lightening dark areas of the skin and grapeseed oil works against those wrinkles.
– Support your digestive system. I gave some supplement recommendations in this post – https://yesroanne.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/lets-chat-belly-teeth-diabetes-enzymes/. I currently use the Rainbow Light enzymes. You also support your digestive system by giving it lots of fertilizer in the form of vegetables, using healthy fats, a good salt and getting enough water. All things that also directly impact the health of your skin.
– Rest/Sleep. It’s not just great to keep your skin looking younger, it is vital to the health and repair of your body’s systems, including your gut and your skin. (Still working on this one.)
– Give it time. As I shared, it was not a quick fix. Your skin will get better in proportion to the healing of your insides. Be patient and keep making healing choices.

See my after ‘photo’ in this Let’s Chat video.

I’d love to hear from you. Have you used any of these suggestions before? Also, if you’ve been on your own wellness journey and has seen an improvement in your skin and have your own recommendations to share, please do so in the comments.

1 – http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/02/03/how-breast-milk-engineers-a-babys-gut-and-gut-microbes/
2 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897872/
3 – https://nationaleczema.org/leaky-gut/

Summer ’17 Key Learnings

Reflection is a necessary part of personal growth and the winding down of summer is a great time for it…really, anytime is a great for reflection. I spent eight of the last 10 weeks there and two weeks in Trinidad. It feels good to be back in South Carolina, even though I miss my family in New Jersey.

There were amazingly fun times with my family and friends, traveling, eating and sharing laughs. You can checkout some of my pictures on Instagram. I did some driving for Lyft* which led me to meet some really cool people and see parts of New Jersey that I hadn’t before. I even got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse with my nephews and sister (which made it extra special). There were also terrific moments of heaviness, discomfort and lots of key learnings.

The term ‘key learnings’ I borrowed from Brene Brown. She uses this format in her books to summarize the lessons learned from her social research. If you seek personal growth, looking for the key learnings in our personal experiences can hold the key for us. So here goes mine from #summer2017. Please note that I am sharing the lessons I learned but while learning, they were not all happy experiences.

I am worthy of love and belonging.

There have been many times and places in my life were I felt like I didn’t belong there, even as a kid. Yet, today, if I end up somewhere, I grown to believe that is exactly where I need to be. We are so programmed to apply the labels ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to everything in life. However, everything is an experience that we can build upon and we can choose what we take away from each experience, so the notion of good and bad experiences are not deterministic. So whatever my situation or experience, there is where I need to be at that moment. So where ever I am, I am worthy of being there – good or bad (pun intended).

Being uncomfortable accepting gifts equals “I am not enough.”

People give gifts in joy (I’m always assuming the best) and why would I not want to accept someone’s positive energy toward me. Really, there’s enough malice on earth to spare. If someone wants to bless me with a gift or even a compliment (a gift of words), I will accept it, with gratitude, because of my first key learning: I am worthy of love and belonging.

Find joy in everything I have to do…

…because we don’t always want to do everything we have to, and it can be challenging (hard) to do those things with joy. Ironically, when we approach these tasks/actions with joy (even whatever little can be mustered), it creates the best outcome for us and usually one we enjoy. Plus, it helps keep our stress levels low during the task which is better for our health and our #EnjoyingBeing.

I don’t need to know everything..

…we can never know the future anyway.
I am a planner. I like to layout the route, the schedule, the menu, the…you name it. I want to know when, where and how. And when the projected schedule gets flipped on it’s head, so do my emotions. This summer was perfect for me to practice my #oneword2017, ‘release’, because with four kids, anything and everything becomes subjective, including schedules. Besides, if I say I trust God, why do I have to control everything anyway?

It’s okay for me to say no.

This is huge for me. It’s come up in sessions with my integrated doctor over the years and I came up again this summer. Our beliefs drive our emotions and our emotions cause health or maladies in our body. At this point in my life, I call myself a recovering people pleaser. It is important to me that others feel appreciated and loved, but I have to get better at reaching that goal without sacrificing myself. There is no gain in loosing me so others feel good; plus, if I’m not well, I don’t get to help others which in turn makes me feel better. Tony Robbins says, “Living is giving” but we must give to ourselves the care we need first so that we are better able to give to others. Sometimes, that means saying, “No.”

Now it’s your turn. If you haven’t, take at least a few minutes to reflect on your summer. I’m sure you’ll find at least one key learning and I’d love for you to share it in the comments so we can all be better together.

*Lyft was the better of my driving experiences. Their communication and driver care is superior to their competitor who will remain unnamed. Lyft has also expanded their coverage to 32 states including all of South Carolina. You can sign up for free, but must use sponsored link to be eligible for a bonus of $100-$850. Interested in driving for Lyft? Get $200 by applying here – https://www.lyft.com/drivers/ROANNE019185)

Give Lyft a try with a $5 ride credit – https://lyft.com/i/ROANNE019185

Let’s Chat: Bug Bites

Sprinklers, the beach, snow cones, fresh fruits and veggies, travel and bug bites…all signs of summer fun. My guess is that you wouldn’t mind taking a pass on the itching and scratching from those pesky bites, which can get annoying and even create scars on our skin.

But, I have a simple post-bug bite trick that I use. My nephews even loved it so much, that as soon as they got a bite, they came to me to put some on it for them.

My secret is Lavender essential oil. Check out my testimony in this Let’s Chat video and check the comments on Facebook for links to get your hands on your high quality Lavender essential oil.

Minding My Expectations

Sunday night, I left with my family for a two week trip to the country of my birth, Trinidad and Tobago.

Pretty cool, right? I thought so. At first.

Four boys, 10 and under, plus two of my siblings, together, for two, whole, weeks.

Maybe I sound a little ‘not’ excited. Well, not maybe, my excitement was there and then it was not. I saw all the challenges, and broken things, and missed activities and squabbles and emotions…need I elaborate?

But this is something I was looking forward to for months, so why the agita now?

Inspecting what I’m expecting.

When we are disappointed, it is most often because an expectation we had was not met. The disappointment is out reaction to a percevied loss. But what if we change what we were expecting? Would that help us perceive the situation different?

I am usually expecting organization and things going smoothly, and easy travel. I am a planner after all. I do scheduled. I do preparation. I do checklists. But with four boys, 10 and under, that expectation is not even making out the front door.

So I released, and revamped my expectations to everyone making it back home alive and with all their body parts. No really, I’m not holding any expectations for timing, forgotten items and all the other craziness that can accompany traveling. I will prepare as best I can and whatever happens, happens. My intention is to roll with it and do my best to keep Roanne easy and joy-full.

Emotions are magnetic.

Our departure day came and unfolded amazingly well. While things threatened, like my brother thinking we were leaving the following day and things happening a little off schedule, we were out of the house, everyone and everything in tow.

Our transit was not without hiccups. As I am typing this, everyone including me is sleep deprived and seems to have an attitude. Me, I am not without my feelings, but I am staying mindful, breathing and minding my words and emotions.

Every life experience is a mix of all the good and all the bad. No one has the misfortune of having only good. There is no growth there. For that knowledge I am grateful.

So as we start this epic family trip, I expect lots of laughter, sweat, broken things and missed schedules. I expect an experience my nephews will never forget and will want to repeat in the near future. I expect challenges and joy. I expect to use EFT and yoga. I expect #EnjoyingBeing. I expect to re-read this during this trip to help me keep my perspective.