Slow Travel in Style

September 30, 2009

Barcelona is rapidly becoming one of my favorite cities on the planet, thereby bumping Chicago down a notch. The pace of life matches your Barcelona 2009 032heartbeat as you stroll along the cobblestone streets. It is clean, friendly, and most importantly for a Virginia gal like me, warm.

My sister and brother-in-law joined my husband and me on a long weekend to Spain to investigate a different culture and, quite frankly, to rest from the rigors of our daily lives. It was worth every minute and penny we spent.

Back in the spring, my sister said she loved visiting us in Munich, but that she wanted to see a different part of Europe, too. So she suggested we book a flight somewhere, anywhere, warm in September. At first I hedged, standing next to the ruins of our dry-rotted porch, thinking of all the expenses our house, my business travel, and daily life required.

Then it dawned on me that the power of intention is much stronger than fear. So I smiled into the phone and said “Yes. Let’s do it!”

We visited museums, restaurants and plazas, soaking up the sun’s rays reflecting off the Mediterranean and realized what a great thing slow travelBarcelona 2009 084 can be. We took a siesta every day, resting for our late-night dinner and allowing the impressions of the day to sink in.

And when we celebrated our farewell dinner, my sister leaned in and asked “When are we doing our next power of slow trip?”

Stockholm, we said, with a blend of sauna in the woods meets city. She’s already bought the travel guides. Until then, we will dream of our next slow adventure and bask in the poetry of intention at work.

Slow en Espagnol

September 24, 2009

In a few hours we’re boarding a plane to Barcelona. The late-summer sun has kissed our skin good-bye as we enter the warmer climes of the Spanish coastline. My sister and brother-in-law are making happy suitcase zippering noises, a reminder of adventure and good food to come.

We’ll be breathing the slow Spanish air for four days and three nights. Tune in for more stories soon!

Hubby Redemption

September 23, 2009

My way or the highway won’t for a good marriage make.

So when I find myself engaging in willfulness with my husband about this thing or that, I am humbly slapped down by universal forces that show me why Nature created diversity. And husbands who refrain from ‘telling us so’.

I’ll quit beating around the bush on this, and tell you I wrongfully accused my husband of losing my cell phone in a recent post. The reason I know this is that it was never lost in the first place. In fact, I found it carefully zipped away in my eye glass case after going through the trouble of locking the phone so you can’t call out (I still haven’t received the replacement card from the phone carrier).

I swear I didn’t do it. I don’t remember putting it there. Ever. Feeling the I-told-you-so’s crawling up my chin and into my mouth, I quashed the urge to continue the accusations by smiling meekly at my hubby, whose grin revealed why the power of slow is so good for impulsives like me who sometimes mess up with such speed and alacrity as to make our inner tortoise cringe.

I hearby redeem my husband’s good name for all eternity. Or at least until it happens again!

Take five minutes to watch this incredible report by Judy Martin on the new workplace. It’s a stellar reminder of how many possibilities we have to live the power of slow in all we do with flexibility, trust and a value system in place.

The Last of All Days

September 16, 2009

Many warm thanks to my pal, Gary, for sharing this video with me. Take 4 minutes out of your day to watch it. You’ll be glad you did.

Lyrics: Brenda Russell

Singer: Marilyn Scott

Thank You, Silence

September 15, 2009

Alanis Morissette, my lovely female vocalist companion who sings for the millions of women out there without a voice (like hers), once thanked India, Providence, and dis-il-lu-sion-me-hent. Loving her extended vowels like I do, I am grateful to her swanky singer-songwriter soul and for the text she puts to the feelings we all have.

meditation silenceMy gratitude extends far beyond those that I even know (because, well, I don’t really know Alanis, but sure feel close to her truth). I share my gratitude with those who have come before me, and for those who will come after, too. When we tap into that divine delight, the inner core of our being and share it with others such that they will feel it, too, it’s the best feeling ever. That’s what Alanis does, for sure.

Today, is featuring my gratitude essay, ‘The Four Seasons’ about how I would spend the last 24 hours on earth. I am delighted to share it with you via their site. And if you’d like to read it all on another day, sign up for the site to have free access whenever you like.

The question remains: how would you spend your last 24 hours on this planet?

Digital Drama

September 14, 2009

The veiled powers of slow were at work once again today.

Actually, it started yesterday when I decided to spend the morning with a friend. Her husband had just moved to China for a six-month assignment. I thought I’d cheer her up and invite her for a power walk in the sunshine. cell phoneAfterwards, we shared a cup of coffee and lots of laughter. As I bemoaned about what a shame it was to have to spend the rest of this beautiful day indoors working on my presentation on time abundance, she replied,

“You can do it when the sun goes down!”

It seemed just the right thing to do. Why not? I’ve been so productive lately. After all, it was Sunday. In a rare moment of putting off the inevitable, I decided to live a little ‘seize the day’. Why not invite the kids on a bike ride to the local outdoor café instead?

My daughter decided to stay home so it was just the three of us.

My husband tends to take the long way around, to enjoy what he calls ‘the scenery’. Mind you, I had power-walked 7 KM just an hour before so trampling up and down steep hills on my mountain bike felt like a personal stretch.

But no matter! I had new vigor and vim. I was committed to getting fit and staying there. We took my cell phone just in case our daughter needed us.

Again, I delegated my gadget to my husband, fulling trusting he would keep it safely tucked in his pocket. We called our daughter when we got to the café, then set on our way to return an hour later. Somewhere in between calling her and coming home through the woods, the cell phone was lost.

I didn’t realize it until 1 pm today. I looked high and low for it. It was nowhere to be found. My biggest concern was the TV production company was supposed to call me tomorrow on my cell phone. So I contacted them via email to let them know they’d have to call my land line with the production details. I also called customer service to get the phone blocked. They promised to send me a new card rerouted to my old number in three days. Essentially, other than the device itself, I had only lost 72 hours. But in essence, I had won so much more.

I dug out my old cell phone that had a pre-paid card in it. It would have to do.

As I talked to the cell phone service on the phone, I realized I really never liked my newer, fancier cell phone that I had bought on eBay. Oh sure, it had all the fancy wizardry you can imagine ~ Internet, a video camera, a still-shot one, etc. But somehow, as I thumbed my old device, I realized I only used the features that the old one had, too.

My digital drama turned out to be a gift. Back to the old black and white screen of my dinosaur Nokia, I am somehow happy to be back to simpler times. Who really needs a sexy screen or rose wallpaper design? You need to call me? The Nokia will connect you, too.

And you know what? I’d take that bike ride again in a heartbeat. The presentation got done after sundown just as well. And I’m no longer as attached to the gadget that’s most certainly rusting on the forest floor as we speak.

Farewell, ye trusty gadget of yesterday. Thank you for the liberation your departure brings!