Labyrinth

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“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears” Rumi

“Life is like a Labyrinth, its center filled with happiness, so instead of rushing out of it, find your way to its center” Suhana Ansari

The definition given by Merriam-Webster.com is:  “a place constructed of or full of intricate passageways and blind alleys. something extremely complex or tortuous in structure, arrangement or character”.  I found neither of this to be true

Some of what I also read online about the Labyrinth that had me intrigued:

lessons4living.com:

The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as a meditation and prayer tool….

A download from Veriditus on Walking the Labyrinth says its a sacred place set aside for you to reflect, look within, pray, negotiate new behavior. and should be done in 4 stages.

Remember – Express gratitude, bless the people in your life and bring any specific troubling events to mind.

Release – Quiet the mind, let go of the mind chatter and release your troubles. Open your heart.

Receive – At the center, is a place of reflection, listen to that inner voice and have a heart to heart talk with yourself

Return – Integrate your experience and take out back into the world what you’ve learned and want.

I Loved This! Lately, I’ve been feeling out of sorts at times. My life is beautiful and I am grateful for so much and sometimes even that is scary. I’ve managed to create and be blessed with the life I’ve always dreamed of and people that love and live for my best and highest good and sometimes I have a hard time letting that flow. As an Earth sign, I feel the need to always be grounded, have answers, research, analyze, over analyze and I knew that I needed to let go of some things.

I said a prayer and entered the Labyrinth and from the first step the feeling was surreal. It was a cool afternoon in a quiet neighborhood, a cool breeze was blowing and I as I walk I released, doubts, fears, judgment, criticism, feelings of lack, feelings of not being enough, feelings of being too much, need for control, need to know, need to please, walk, pray, walk, pray, walk pray… and after a while I am at the center.

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At the center of this particular Labyrinth is a small fountain and some rocks. I stopped.. this is holy ground, this is holy water… I dipped my finger in the cool water… its refreshing. I caressed some of the smooth rocks and I silenced my mind in meditation. In this moment, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am LOVED. I am BLESSED. I am HIGHLY FAVORED and I am fully equipped to not only enjoy every blessing I receive but anything else  that comes my way. I am THE DIVINE. A beautiful sense of peace came over me that brought tears to my eyes. I AM GOOD!

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Walking out the Labyrinth and back into the world, I grabbed one of the small rocks for my prayer closet… EVERY LITTLE THING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT!

Antigua and I – Island Adventure

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Antigua boasts 365 beaches, essentially you can visit a beach every day of the year and not repeat a beach – this is awesome for someone who loves the water and sun. I’m only here for a few days but I am determined to hit as many beaches as possible.

dawning

As I do normally I fully intended to take a morning sunrise walk on the beach, however, I didn’t realize that I would actually enjoy the dawning from my bed, looking out a wooden door covered in netting, over the trees, watching the birds sing and the morning come alive better so I did not make it to the beach for any sunrises in Antigua. I did however made it at 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm, sunset etc. etc. etc.

wadadli

rasta pasta

waffles and ice cream

Exploring the island, nothing seemed very far away with a rental car, We were able to make pit stops to the beach almost everywhere we were. Along the roads, almost anywhere, you can find little sheds set up (either in the yards or stand alone) selling food, drinks etc. so I’m happy to say, you can taste the islands all day long at a fairly decent price. We typically look for where the crowds were gathered to eat and wasn’t disappointed.

sunset quay

On the first evening there, we visited the Redcliffe Quay and enjoyed the sunset and dinner there while checking out the shops and galleries. I enjoyed my first Wadadli (local beer) with some fish and chips (French fries) and stopped at the grocery store and picked up breakfast items (we decided that since we had kitchen facilities and a great view and birds for company in the morning – we would stay in for breakfast. There was also a great pathway of stone steps that became my gym for the days that I was here.

boat

dockyardfish and chipsice cream shoppink churchshirley heights

As the days roll by we spent a lot of time chilling on different beaches, chilling in the Treehouse, visiting the various beaches and sites like Shirley Heights and the Dockyard, eating tropical fruits and local foods and visiting an ice cream shop owned by family of some friends.  By chance, I got the address of the house my parents lived in and drove down the street thinking happy thoughts of good wonderful times that my parents must have spent young and in love in Antigua. It brought me a since of peace and fed the soul of my inner child. The overall experience was amazing and Antigua will forever be dear to my heart.

water swimsuit

Antigua and I – The Treehouse

treehouse

 

The Treehouse – aptly named, was built into a mountain side and the top of the trees was at the same level of the house. It was nestled on top of a remote mountain, so remote that we ended up passing it and getting to the top of the mountain (literally, where you just cant go no further).

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A mountaintop. It was so beautiful sight. I just had to stop and take a photo . SN: I am sitting on the remnants of a dead tree (I posted this picture on instagram and someone expressed anger at dead animals – no animals were harmed in this photo I promise – although I realize that maybe me sitting on what looks like an extinct dinosaur may have killed it for real)

mountaintop

The road to get to The Treehouse was so steep, walking up the driveway, you are literally bent forward to push up. The beach, a mere few minutes walk down the road was a workout in itself.

The Treehouse is one of about 3 cottages of the Galley Bay cottages. It has a wooden wrap around porch where the birds literally comes to greet the new guests. Inside it was a small but spacious space with miss matched furniture. A small kitchen (no microwave), a living space with a wicker couch and a small end table, a wicker dresser with an antique mirror and a bed with a canopy made of twigs and a mosquito netting. A fan in the corner was a clear indication that we had no AC. Upon future inspection, all the doors and windows were wooden and not sealed (to let in air – but also bugs?)  No telephone, no television, no air conditioning, no microwave, no iron… interestingly though… we had WIFI.

bird

I am immediately transformed to my childhood growing up in Guyana. I rummaged through the cupboards and found all the plastic containers there was (3 cups) and filled them with water and put them inside the freezer (if you’ve ever lived without AC in the Caribbean and know that blackout is possible sometimes, you would understand this) Opened up all the windows and doors and turned on the fans and settled in.

The treehouse will be interesting to live in for the next few days but right now… this island is calling me to explore… up next Island Adventures.

Antigua and I

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I wasn’t prepared for the sheer level of excitement that rose inside me when I planted my feet on the island of Antigua. See, Antigua and I have history. Few know this but I was conceived on this island so in a strange way I feel connected. Essentially my life started here (this is not to start a pro-life debate)

See my parents moved here shortly after they got married. My parents, even though they were very young, teenagers as a matter of fact, picked up and left home (Guyana) and moved to Antigua to start their life together. My father was ambitious and adventurous (traits I am proud to have inherited) and I’d like to think wanted something different and better for his family. My mother, loved my father beyond reason and in my opinion would have followed him to the end of the earth.

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I can’t imagine what it must have been like to board a plane as teenagers to move to a strange land to live and work. I can only imagine they must have been scared, nervous, excited all at the same time.

Shortly after moving my mom got pregnant with my older brother and as it’s culturally the way for mothers and sisters to assist a new mother with childbirth, childcare and caring for their bodies at this time, my mom went back to Guyana to give birth to my brother become coming back home to Antigua. When she became pregnant with me, however, my parents made the decision to move back to Guyana to be closer to family. I can imagine two young children (my brother and I are only a year apart) and no family structure for assistance must have been extremely hard.

So The story goes, as best as I know it… i was conceived in Antigua and this intrigued me.

I’d like to think that living in Antigua was some of the happiest days of my parents lives. Young and in love. I’d like to think they carried happy memories of this island until the day they both died. I’d like to think that my parents enjoyed these beaches and exploring this island and was having fun together, enjoyed shopping in these stores for their new home and preparing meals and buying baby things.

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Nine years to the day we buried my mom, two days after what would have been her 65th birthday and about five days after the date she passed away nine years ago, I stepped foot on the island and felt a complete oneness… it was home. Home as much as Guyana is home, New York is home and Florida is home.

My time in Antigua was special and different from most of my island adventures, to start, we had started doing away with the resort vacations and spend more time in smaller, cheaper, simpler places as we spend most of our time exploring. Typically I leave all the arrangements to the hubby. “You book, I pack” is my motto. So on this trip I had no clue where I would be staying. I never have to ask because I know that, like me (we are the same sign and month) he is analytical, research the crap out of everything and won’t have us out there crazy.

But then… the car is climbing these steep ass mountains in what looks like a place carved into the mountain side on the top of the island – no joke. A damn treehouse! A wooden house, with wooden doors and windows (I kid you not!) I think I’m in the jungle. There is horses, cows, mountain goats and stray dogs everywhere. What the heck did I sign up for?

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At the “Treehouse” A quick look around reveals to me there is no AC, no TV, no microwave, not even an iron. What the hell did I sign up for? The bed had a mosquito netting hanging from it and I see citronella candles and mosquito coils! I feel like I’ve been displaced 30plus years to my childhood in Guyana with the exception of internet access.

This is going to be one interesting adventure…. Part 2.. The Treehouse… NEXT

Stacy In ONEderland!

june

Fairy tales often include magic, charms… and a heroine who overcomes obstacles…. Alice in Wonderland is no different.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then – Alice in Wonderland.

“Every adventure requires a first step” Cheshire Cat.

A year ago when I got off my couch from what seemed like a year of hard knocks I had to face the truth that I had “let myself go”. A trip to the bathroom scale revealed 226LBS. and I had to come to terms with the cold hard truth that, given our family history of diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, arthritis etc. and my personal battle with hypothyroidism, scoliosis, a bad knee etc… that this was not a healthy place for me!

I wanted to be healthy! The definition of insanity is to continue to do the same things and expect different results so I pull up my big girl panties – literally – and called a personal trainer.  My goal was to get stronger! To find the STRENGTH OVER ALL RESISTANCE (S.O.A.R) and get myself strong and fit and healthy. My first scale goal was to get under 200lbs… What a journey…. 2019 was going to be the year I do this and God knows the way my metabolism is set up, I expected it to take that long.

June – Half way through the year and I am reflecting on the past 6 months. What a work in progress my life is. I had no idea when I chose SOAR as my word of the year that the sense of humor of the most high would keep me SORE – every dang day! But the work. Oh yes the work…

Accomplished:

Visited Vermont, got my girls settled in their new home and spent time in a beautiful bookstore soaking up the energy of books.

Visited NY, spent time with family and Meditated on the rooftop of a Manhattan high-rise overlooking a the bridge at sunrise.

Crossed the border and spent an afternoon by myself in an entirely different county in a city with a different language.

Pet a pit bull – True story

Ran a 5K and did my personal best time coming in under 50 minutes.

Visited and soaked up the energy of sacred land – Shangri La

Tried Crossfit – one word:  brutal.

 

Socially, I’ve spent time with some beautiful women I love and admire, catching up. Physically,  I’ve worked harder this month on strength training and fitness than I have  ever done. Nutritionally, I have been extremely holistic in the what I’ve put in my body, no meat, no fried foods, very little processed carbs, very little processed sugar and no very little alcohol (but I did have a drink with Shellena for her birthday) Emotionally, I’ve had some extreme highs and lows. Panic, Fear, Rage, Hurt, Joy, Bliss, Oneness and lots of time spent checking myself and reevaluating.   Spiritually, I have grown more this last month than every before. I’ve reaffirmed my worth. Got to my absolutes and found my truth again.  I laugh at myself for the insignificant things I’ve let bother me, took to heart and made a big deal about. Life is too short to be small. I’m a big girl… who just reached ONEDERLAND!

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Next 6 months… BRING IT ON.

 

 

 

Hidden Treasures – Aruba Adventures

So I did a thing in Aruba! And I loved it! 

full moon

So while in Aruba last weekend I found out:

  1. It was the full moon on Saturday
  2. That there was a full moon yoga class happening on a beach

Well the last time I actually did a yoga class (I do sun salutations at sunrise from my bedroom window sometimes but haven’t attended a class) was the first of the year with Francesca. Full Moon. Yoga. Beach. Aruba. I mean… the universe lined up to make this happen so of course I’m all in.

First let me say it is DARK on the beach at night, second I know NO ONE here, I can’t even see their faces but I got there and spread my towel on the sand like everyone did and sat down.  Facing the full moon with waves crashing besides me I get quiet and listen to nature and I am in awe at the great mystery of this life. Creations like the ocean besides me, the palm trees swaying in the wind, the powder white sand below me and this beautiful full moon above and I get to sit here and enjoy it all.

“Everything in life is cyclical…” the yoga instruction is leading us into a meditation about “Letting go of things that no longer serve you”, paying attention to your divine feminine energy and walking in your truth…  Moon Salutation… and repeat…its a beautiful thing

moon salutation

 

I’m proud to say that I am keeping up with what looks like professionals.  Yoga on sand is hard because its moving under your body but for the most part I am able to do the poses correctly.  I am fully in the moment. Alive. Aware.

And as we finish off the last moon salutation and is lying flat on our backs in meditation, I open my eyes to that beautiful full moon, dig my hands as far into the sand as I can reach and came up with whatever hidden treasures I could find… and this appears…..

treasures

 

As I walk away with my treasures… I’m thinking… this looks like a mortar and pestle. A mortar and pestle is a device used since ancient times to prepare ingredients or substances (for medicine) by crushing and grinding them into a fine paste or powder. As if to say…. Woman… Heal Thyself!

A permanent place in my prayer closet!

aaaa

 

 

Lesson Learned. King Leo will take care of it.

girlpower

 

Let me first admit here that I am definitely spoiled when it comes to things like manual labor, fixing cars etc. My motto for things like this is: King Leo will take care of it

I literally cannot even tell you how to open the hood of my car (yes that I’ve owned for almost a decade), change a tire or anything related (King Leo will take care of it) so when my coolant light came on yesterday I had two choices 1. Call AAA (another convenience the hubby makes available to me and the kids) or just wait the hour until he gets off and leave the car for you… King Leo will take care of it.

Because are scheduled to go out of town when he got off, we opted to leave the car in the parking lot where it was and just deal with it the next day. I knew that my part was done until the car was home safe, fixed and drive-able again.

Questioning him last night on the ride back from Tampa, I learned that what will happen is. When he gets off, him and someone else would ride out to the car, where he would fill it up with water in the area that says Coolant under the hood, just to get it home, where he can better determine if it has a leak or need more repair which he will take care of however he does (magic wand maybe?) and voila I’ll be back in the car driving again.

But I’m feeling brave and open to learning new things. Called my sister… “do you have an idea how to put water in the radiator of a car?” With a positive response we decided to go do this thing and save the guys the headache – Girl Power!

Disclaimer: I’m 47 years old, never changed a tire, opened the hood of a car, just recently learned how to pump my own gas and did a car wash on my own for the first time this year.

So we get to the car. I prided myself in at least knowing that i need distilled water and after having to call the hubby to figure out how to open the hood, we are doing this thing! Never mind I’m wearing a dress and her a beautiful white shirt!

Filled the car with water and then… oh shit.. the cap for the coolant area falls into the engine. Ok maybe it fell under the car but a look under there yielded nothing. Backed up the car to make sure…nope. Looked and felt all around the engine area…. no cap. Got an old towel and checked under to see if we can find it… nope… jumped on the bumper to get a better look… breaks the bumper.

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Close the hood. Locks the car. Drives away.

King Leo will take care of it.