Nurturing My Soul

“Now, more than ever, it is important to nurture my soul” 

-Adventure 

17 years ago today I lost friends, co-workers and a lover in a plane crash.  I miss and love them all dearly.  

So much has happened since that day.  

In fact, so much has happened in just one year.  A year ago, today, I worked my last shift, promptly had to recover from bronchitis and pneumonia, and two weeks later began a journey that would have me doing figure eights around this country.  

Today, I find myself back where I started a year ago.  I sit here contemplating my life story, attempting to write a book about my adventures while simultaneously moving forward in my life.  It feels very surreal.  And at times, overwhelming.  

My emotions lately have been on overdrive.  It can be exhausting.  It’s also very therapeutic and healing.  And I give myself the time and space to “feel”.   I don’t hide from my feelings…. they are actually my super power!  

Which is why now, more than ever, it is important to nurture my soul. 

Nurturing my soul takes many forms.  It is important for me to eat well, get enough rest, move my body, spend time meditating, and be creative.  The important thing is to listen to my soul.  To really listen.  And to do what needs to be done.  And sometimes that something is spending time on my yoga mat.  Sometimes it’s making a delicious healthy meal.  Sometimes it’s simply weeping and feeling.  Sometimes it’s getting up and dancing.  Sometimes it’s volunteering.  Sometimes it’s running.  Sometimes….it’s always changing.  Just like life.  

Life is amazing and a blessing.  But sometimes life is hard, confusing and quite shitty.  It’s important to nurture your soul. It brings you back to center.  It helps you to cope.  It helps you to keep moving forward by simply being present in the now.  This is especially helpful when your mind is stuck in the past or anxious about the future. Or both at the same time…ugh.

When nurturing your soul, remember to be kind to yourself.  You deserve to be cared for, loved and happy.  We all do.  

It’s up to us to be the change in this world we want to see.  Well, I want a world where nurturing our souls is the normal.  So that’s what I’m doing. It’s not always pretty, especially when snot is running down my face on to my yoga mat.  But I’m here, nurturing my soul.  And I am grateful for this time and space.

Love and hugs, Adventure Mel

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Today  

Today was joyful and full of unexpected adventures.  Today was filled with here and now moments.  Today smelled of rain, of freshness.  Today energy flowed mindfully, energetically, thru spirit from the heavens deep in to the earth.  Healing happened.  Aliveness surrounded me.  Awareness.  Oneness.  Hold the vibration, Adventure.  This is who you really are, my love.  

What’s next…

After hitting rock bottom, what’s next?!? 

First of all I want to thank everyone who sent me words of encouragement to keep on going.  I have felt your love surround me and lift me up.  I appreciate all of you more than you know.  

I am taking each day one at a time.  And even within the day, I’m taking it moment by moment.  Sometimes that’s all you can do!

Looking too far into the future and being stuck in the past are what causes my mind to spin out of control.  So I am literally working on being in this moment.  


Spending time in nature just being is a great start!  

I have lots to look forward to…but even it is overwhelming to me right now.  So this breath, right now, is dedicated to this moment.  I am here…and that is enough.  

Keep doing your thing and enjoy this adventure called life!

Love and hugs, Adventure Mel

Suicide Hotline 800-273-8255

Even happy people can find themselves in a spiraling mind fuck.  

There are a million reasons why we may feel death is a better option than where we are right now.  And I’m not here to tell you which option is better.  I am here to tell you that there are people who are willing to listen without judgement to your story.  Because sometimes all it takes is having someone listen to give you a new perspective, some hope, to feel loved. 

If you are contemplating suicide, please reach out to someone.  The National Suicide Prevention Line is: 1-800-273-8255

Most people see me as a happy-go-lucky girl.  Floating through life on a spiritual journey, saving the world one hug at a time.  And on most days, I see myself that way too.  

On Monday night however, I found myself in the middle of a parking lot, hugging a tree, balling my eyes out, begging the universe to show me a sign to keep moving forward. My mind had given up on me.  My mind had spun out of control telling me all the reasons to give up.  I frantically went through my list of contacts contemplating who to call, who could rescue me, who could tell me to not give up.  My mind convinced me it was better to not worry anyone.  So I didn’t call you.  I didn’t text you.  I didn’t reach out.  

Instead, I found myself in a pool of tears, wrapped around a tree praying to the universe for a sign.  

What’s interesting is how not one person that passed me, stopped.  Not even the cop that drove by.  Maybe they thought I was just meditating or a crazy tree hugger.  Regardless, my mind viewed each passer-byer as another sign to give up.  

The only thing I had going for me was my refusal to carry a gun on this trip..and a couple of really good friends who happened to reach out to me at that very moment.   

And in that moment, I told each of them I was struggling.  They both told me they loved me.  One told me she was breathing with me and it was okay to cry and let it all out.  

So I did.  I held onto that tree and weeped until all that was left was exhaustion.  Then I crawled into my car and went to sleep. 

I’m doing much better.  Thank you.

I contemplated whether or not to write this.  I know this will cause some of you to worry about me.  Please don’t spend your thoughts and energy on worry.  Instead, please think positive thoughts.  I survived.  I am moving forward. My mind and I are working things out.  

It is important to me to post this because I realized how important it is to reach out to others.  

I did not call the suicide hotline because the number wasn’t in my phone.  It’s in there now.  I advise you to do the same.  You never know when you may be browsing your contacts looking for someone to help.  

Thanks for listening and feel free to repost.  

Love and hugs, Adventure Mel

Acadia 

One of my bucket list items was to be in Maine in Autumn. So when I found out there was a National Park there, I knew exactly where I was headed. I just didn’t know what or who I would find.

When I arrived, I headed straight to the visitor center. There, I climbed the 52 stairs (which btw is not handicap accessible…not sure who designed that), made my way past the crowded lines and grabbed a map. The peopley-ness, my hunger, and my exhaustion from the long drive made a perfect combination for my anxiety to kick in. I scurried to my car and focused on my breath. After consulting the park map, I decided my best and safest option would be to find a campground. So I did. 

Once I found my camp spot in the Backwoods Campground, I made some food and studied the shuttle route map. Acadia National Park offers free shuttles (busses) around the island. Which is great except there are 7 different routes and limited times for all of them. Limited because apparently Fall is their slow season. In fact they don’t run at all mid October till sometime in Spring. So as I’m studying this map, I realize if I’m going to attempt to make the large loop around the campground, I’m going to have to catch the bus in 15 min. Then I’m going to have to change busses mid way. And if I get off to explore, I may get stuck walking back to camp. My anxiety was still present and I contemplated just crawling in my car and going to sleep and trying again the next day. As I debated with myself, I packed a bag with my camera, water, snacks, a warm hat and my headlamp. Then I grabbed my maps and headed to the bus stop. With a deep breath and anxiety still lurking, I climbed onto the number 3 bus. 

At some point I decided I was going to just see what happens despite my anxiety…

Finding a seat was not a problem.  There was an older couple and the driver…and me.  Some panic resided.  As we sat waiting, the couple spoke with the driver while I consulted my maps.  Confused by the overlapping routes, I politely interrupted the conversation to get some clarification.  

“Excuse me? Am I interpreting this map correctly?” I brought the map to the front and explained what I wanted to do. “If I get off this bus at this spot,” pointing at Sieur de Monts “can I catch the number 4 bus?”

The driver glanced at her watch, “well usually, yes.” She shut the door, started the bus up and continued explaining as she departed the stop.  “See right now that location is under construction.  So neither bus actually stops there right now.  But I’m gonna call the other driver and let him know to expect you.”

I sat back not sure where my anxiety level was.  But I was thankful for the help of the driver.  

When we arrived at Sieur de Mont, the driver turned to me and said. “Oh, so see that parking lot?”

I glanced across the street and nodded. 

“There’s a trail over there.  You will need to follow it thru the woods to another parking lot.  Then find the main road.  That is where he’ll pick you up.  You’ll want to hurry as he should be there in 10 or 15 minutes.”

Oh great.  My anxiety skyrocketed. With sweaty palms and heartbeat racing, I somehow managed to thank her and find my way to the parking lot.  I even waived as she and the couple drove away.  

As I searched for the trail, my chest began to squeeze.  Being under a time crunch was taking hold of me and pumping anxiety thru my blood.  I wanted to just sit down and cry.  And then I saw a person emerge from the other side of the parking lot.   

I rushed over to the man. “Is there a trail here?”

“Yes. It’s on the other side of that tree.  It’s difficult to see until you’re right on it.  But it’s there.” He assured me.  I thanked him, wished him a good day and made my way.  

The trail starts off by a pond.  I stopped and took a couple pictures.  My camera seemed to calm me.  At least for a few minutes.  


After my brief calmness I turned to read the trail sign for some clue that I was indeed on the right path.  The trail split.  One way went to the woods around the pond and the other deep into the woods.  Crap.  Which way do I go? I took a deep breath and headed deep in the woods as if I had just flipped a coin.  Feeling like time was running out, I began running.  

Anyone who has ever gone trail running with me knows I love it.  And that I run like a child on a playground.  Flailing arms, hopping over stumps and rocks, and lots of giggling.  Very different from track or street running where I’m focused on technique.  Trail running in the woods is where I find easy and delightful grounding.  My anxiety began to float away.  

At the end of the trail, I happend upon a parking lot with a building and a bunch of construction equipment.  Phew! I think I choose correctly.  I followed the signs to the main road.  No bus.  Just me, the road, and a bunch of trees.  

As I waited, I looked around and began taking pictures.  I even crawled down in a ditch to get a better angle.  And that’s when I heard the bus.  As I climbed out of the ditch, I waived at the bus driver. He slowed down and I successfully stepped on to the number 4 bus.

The bus had the driver, an old hippie looking guy and a man with two young children…and now me. I took a seat on the right side as everyone else was on the left.  Not that this mattered but it made me feel a little more balanced.  

The hippie looking guy kept glancing back at me. I smiled at him and then buried my head in my map.  

“Did you just come from the woods?” He inquired.  

I smiled, glanced out the window and back at the man, “yup.”

He proceded to ask me several more questions.  It was obvious I wasn’t going to be able to concentrate on my map, so I gave into the conversation.   

“Hi, I’m Jerry!” He proceeded to tell me how he was newly retired, bought a van and is traveling the country. “Some days I might go as far as 50 miles.” He was practicing slowing down and enjoying each day.  He had met many other travelers and was delighted he met me. He told me how he had recently been in NH and decided to drive up Mount Washington.  It was there that he learned what virtigo was and that he had it.  So to ensure he could make the drive around Acadia, he decided it was in his best interest to take the shuttle tour.  And that’s how he ended up on the number 4 bus. “And then this woman emerged from the damn woods and here you are!”

I was amused by this guy.  But I was still cautious and my anxiety wasn’t fully gone.  So I invited Jerry to continue our conversation at the next stop, Jordan Pond.  I figured if I needed to ditch him, I could do so there.  

Ditch him I did not.  In fact that old hippie kinda guy, who insisted he was not a hippie but rather a biker (with hippie values), and I enjoyed each other’s company so much, we spent the next 5 days exploring that island together.  And now we are friends for life!! 

I am so thankful I just kept going despite my anxiety.  Here are just some of the many things we discovered in Acadia:

I am love. I choose joy.

Most people when they meet me see a balanced human/spiritual being.  I am a lot of fun to be around and a great listener.  As I let people in near me, they see another side of me.  

I have been out of balance and not centered most of my life.  I have struggled with anxiety, depression and manic bouts of moodiness.  It has destroyed every relationship I have been in and strained many friendships.  Its that “thing” about me I’ve been trying to “fix” my whole life.

So the beginning of this year I took some time off to travel, clear my mind, meditate, be with nature and reconnect.  I have been on the road for 42 weeks.  I would love to tell you I have all my ducks in a row and that I fully understand my chakras and that my emotions are stable and that yati yati ya… I want to say “I fixed me”.  

But how do you fix something that is not actually broken?!? 

You see, I thought if I could just do this or just do that everything would magically fall into place and I would somehow…not be me.  And then all my relationships would be blissful and I would live happily ever after.

Ha! Hahahahahahaha.  Oh boy! Ha ha ha!! Snort. Ha ha ha!! Hold on while I laugh at myself!!!

Here is what I have learned about myself and those “things” I have struggled with:

  • I am a spiritual being having a human experience 
  • My human mind is a sponge for information 
  • The information my mind collects, if repeated enough, becomes my truth, my reality and my life.
  • I am an emotional human being 
  • My emotions are windows into my mind and the experience I am having as a human being
  • My emotions do not define me.  
  • I am completely whole just as I am
  • I am love.
  • I choose joy.

So what does that all mean and how does this apply to “fixing” the unbroken?!?

First off I don’t believe I’m broken.  I am just having a human experience.  Those manic emotions, including anxiety and depression, that seem to get in the way of everything…they are clues. Something is different.  Notice I didn’t say something is “wrong”.  This is huge! At least for me.  

So what’s different?  Well for me to really know, my human self needs to listen to my spiritual self.   And the only way I know how to do that, is to connect with my breath, to scan my body for pain and to identify which emotion(s) I am experiencing.  This means I have to observe my mind without judgement.  

Let me take a second to just say I have been observing my mind nearly non-stop since I began this journey.  I have been observing my mind to understand my triggers and to change past behaviors.  It is difficult when its spinning out of control and causing my emotions to explode, to not judge my thoughts and the emotions attached to them.  And let me also say it is possible!!  Especially if I can remember that although I am an emotional human being, my emotions do not define me.  

By connecting with my breath, I bring my awareness to the present moment.  This allows me to scan my body.  What I’m looking for are signs of pain.  This is a good indication that my chakras are out of balance.  Now I am relatively new to understanding my chakras and there was a time in my life where I didn’t believe in them.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  And with easy access to the interweb, I can simply type in “shoulder neck pain chakra” and easily find out it is connected to my throat chakra.  And I can do the same thing for my emotions.  

The second thing is my mind believes everything it hears.  It’s a sponge. It’s job is to gather information and use it to protect me. The problem is, it believes everything it hears.  Hense why the “news” is a great way to brainwash or mind control other humans.  Again, it’s difficult to not judge my mind and want to “fix” it. But in reality, my mind is doing its job.

So how do I “fix” something that’s not broken? The solution is in the problem…my mind believes everything thing it hears!  

Every chance I remember that I am a spiritual being having an emotional human experience, I repeat to myself “I am love. I choose joy.” So I am essentially re-programming my mind.  

Does it help? Yes. Do I always remember…eventually.

The third part of this “fixing” equation is pausing before reacting to give myself time to respond.  In doing so it gives me time.  Time to connect with my breath.  Time to scan my body and balance my chakras. Time to observe my mind and emotions. And time to respond instead of reacting.  

Now I’m pretty good at remembering to put in to practice all of the above when I am alone.  And it is just that, practice.  I’m actually quite good at balancing myself. But throw another person in the mix, especially someone I love …that’s a bit harder for me.  Probably because I become so attached, I foget I am completely whole just as I am.  And I take EVERYTHING personally.  Which is exhausting.  And not helpful.  They too are a spiritual being having a human experience. Nothing they say or do has anything to do with me, really.  So really when I feel offended or hurt by someone else, it would be great to remember it’s an opportunity to practice balancing myself.  

I am love. I choose joy.

Thanks for listening.  Love and hugs, Adventure Mel

Happy Adventure Friday and Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 42nd birthday. According to my astrological charts, today is also a new birth. The stars and planets are aligned very similarly to when I was actually birthed. So today is essentially a new beginning for me.  

Thank the stars!  

I am not at all where I thought I was going to be today. Even three days ago, I thought I would be somewhere else. And three months ago, I certainly had no idea the chain of events that would lead me here. To this place. 

Last night, my fortune cookie said “Remember three months from this date, good things are in store for you”. I know, it’s just a cookie. But it got me thinking about where I am and how I got here. And where I am headed.

Three months from now I will be at the end of the current journey I am on AND at the beginning of a new journey. I don’t pretend to know what that looks like. I do know it will be magnificent and adventurous. Just as I am.  

So today as I adventure alone, I am at peace. And I am eternally thankful for the blessings I have received and have yet to come. I may not be where I thought I would be today, but I am exactly where I am supposed to be!

Happy Adventure Friday!

Love and hugs, Adventure Mel