We Are Never Alone



Back in 2004, I did something that was not usual for me. I suddenly decided to quit my job and take the money I had in my savings account and live for the next three months without working. Up until that point, I hadn’t taken a single vacation in probably ten years. So, I gave my two weeks notice, and then a week later I took a 7-day solo retreat in the Pocono Mountains.

I knew I was at a point in my life where I needed time alone to clear my mind and reconnect to my soul.

I felt lost and confused.

During that week I had no phone, computer, or TV. I took only one music CD and my portable player, a journal, and my camera. I awoke every morning whenever I felt like it, ate breakfast, took three hour walks in the snowy mountains, wrote in my journal, and allowed myself to be totally immersed within nature. At night I would eat dinner, take a shower, write in my journal, and went to sleep whenever I felt like it.

The first morning I awoke, I walked to the top of a steep hill that overlooked the mountains. I sat on a small bench and sobbed uncontrollably, as I decompressed from all the tension I had been holding onto. I could literally feel the earth begin to heal my weary soul. I remember it being so cold, that it actually froze my tears.

At first, it felt very strange not living my days on a schedule. However, by the third day I had grown accustomed to it; allowing myself to relax and just go with the flow. I took each moment as it came.

What truly amazed me about spending those days in silence, was that there was no silence. What I mean is that in the silence, I was finally able to hear.

The voice of a Higher Power.

And for seven days I just listened…..without ever speaking.

It would take much too long for me to share all the things I heard while I was there, but I would like to share one experience that made me realize we are never alone. That we are always held, cared for, and guided throughout our lives.

And that there are such things as angels.

On the last day that I was on this retreat, I took one final walk to the place where I had gone on my first day. I went to the top of the hill and sat on the bench overlooking the mountains. I wanted to say thank you for the time I had spent there. I silently thanked the sky, the air, the trees, the snow, and the mountains.

I thanked the Higher Power.

Right as I got up to leave, I heard a voice that said, “Take out your camera and point it here, and take a picture.” So, I did.

Then I heard the voice say again, “Now take another picture.” So, I did.

Afterward, I turned around and began walking back to the retreat house, when I heard the voice say one last time, “Point your camera here and take a picture.” I did.

When I got back to the city, I immediately had my rolls of film developed. The next day I picked them up and then eagerly sat on my apartment floor; reliving my retreat. And to be honest with you, I had totally forgotten about taking those three pictures on my last day there.

However, when I saw them I knew exactly why I had been asked to take them.



Photo 1: First, notice my footprints in the snow. Then notice the orange swirl of light above them.


Photo 2: Notice the pinkish purple square of light above my footprints.


Photo 3: Now notice how the two colors came together.



Initially, when I first looked at these photos I thought, “ Well, perhaps the colors where formed from the glare of the sun against the camera lens.”


And perhaps they were.

But then I thought, “Even if they were, what if they were made that way on purpose?”


We are never alone…

52 comments

  1. One of the most beautiful posts, ever.

    Seriously.

    xoxo
    ~vk~

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  2. Hello Vixen Kitten~

    (((( dear one ))))

    Thank you so much for stopping by! Hope you had a FABU weekend!

    X ya!

    P.S. X to the Honey!

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  3. I just saw Eat, Pray Love and in some way I think what you did was the same as Elizabeth Gilbert. She went on a quest to figure out who she was and what was important to her. I have been trying to do the same thing by standing back and trying to clear my mind a bit by keeping extraneous stimuli to a minimum. I think it is working. Your experience sounds amazing and I know how spiritual you are and this post proves ho win touch you are with what is important to you. Your values and sense of self come through in every post. I envy your ability to leave behind your job and sense of security and isolate in that way. I wish I had the guts to do something like that...I am not sure I am brave enough or will ever be.

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  4. Hellooooooo Susie~

    OMG...you saw Eat, Pray, Love?????

    I have GOT to see it this weekend. I saw a clip on You Tube and it looked faaaabulous! And Julia Roberts seems PERFECT for the role!

    I've only read part of the book and loved it. I cannot wait to see the film!

    " I have been trying to do the same thing by standing back and trying to clear my mind a bit by keeping extraneous stimuli to a minimum. I think it is working."

    Good for you, girl!!!!

    I was at a point in my life when this happened, that I knew I was ready to do something drastic. I had been saving money for years and thought, "Why the hell not take some time off and just BE?" So, I did. The isolation part really didn't bother me. I enjoy being alone. The hard part for me was letting go of a daily schedule. I'm very structured by nature.

    I bet you would do GREAT at a retreat. And I bet they have some wonderful one's in California.

    Thanks soooooooooo much for stopping by, my friend. And thank you for sweet words.

    Happy Monday!

    X

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  5. WOW! What an amazing week that was. It's no wonder why you need and love your time alone. Are you planning another retreat trip soon?

    It's so interesting that you do a post today about Angels. I was in the book store yesterday and ran into a friend who I meet there alot. She has been reading books about Angels lately. I won't go into the conversation now (a bit too long to type out but I might email you) but she said at the end of our little discussion that she feels even people who do not have any particular belief or religion still have a Guardian Angel.

    I do absolutely agree with you in that we are never ever alone.

    Beautiful photos! Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it. xo
    Have a great week. :)

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  6. Oh my Ron, what a beautiful thing to have happened! I loved reading this post, thankyou so much for sharing such a special time. x

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  7. There's no 'what if' to it--

    All things happen for reasons, even if I don't possess the vision to see them. More will be revealed, eh?

    Following the instructions to get the photos in the first place is a good testimony of the relationship you have with your Maker.
    *laughing* NOT following the instructions is one of those deals I have with mine....dang good thing He has a sense of humour, huh? ;-)

    ....Small wonder our paths were crossed. I sometimes need reminded of what's truly important on this earth. You're one of my great reminders. And for that, I'm grateful.

    (((((((( Ron )))))))))

    I....need a retreat! Or at least some time to just BE....and listen....

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  8. wow, reading this makes me want to do the same thing, but on a private beach, on an island.

    lovely read, ron.

    i feel a bit more relaxed.

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  9. Such a beautiful post dear Ron... I totally need my quiet times. I speak with God. Pleading Him to listen and to answer. Especially when worries and anxiety come. I don't always - read often - feel much, but I keep believing, just like you, that I am not alone. It gives me sweet hope.

    Hugs dear one!

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  10. Beautiful post, Ron. There definitely is "something" out there that does fill us with love, beauty and wonder. Something that keeps the demons at bay.

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  11. Awesome post. You are a very spiritual soul. It is important to get "in touch" and refocus, redirect, and renew appreciation...I know you know exactly what I am talking about. Hugs!

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  12. How I have longed to do something like that, but I was never brave enough. Three months of isolation would suit me down to the ground. This is a magnificent account of your retreat with very convincing pictures. Some kind of being was definitely watching over you.

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  13. Good Morning Crystal Chick~

    If I do another retreat, it will most likely be sometime in January when I have a month off from working. I also enjoy taking a retreat during the winter months because of the snow. You know me....I LOVE WINTER!!

    " at the end of our little discussion that she feels even people who do not have any particular belief or religion still have a Guardian Angel."

    Yes, I believe that too.

    There was a time when I was soooo into reading books about angels (back in the 80's) when I started doing a lot soul searching. One of these days if we should ever meet, I would love to share more about this experience with you because I know you will understand.

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, M!

    ALWAYS enjoyed!

    Happy Monday to ya!

    X

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  14. Good Morning Akelamalu~

    So glad you enjoyed.

    There were so many things that happened to me on this one particular retreat that literally changed my life. I may post more about these experiences later on.

    I feel so grateful for this experience.

    Thank you for stopping by, m'dear!

    Happy Monday, m'dear!

    X

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  15. Hiya Mel~

    "There's no 'what if' to it--"

    Right you are, dear lady. There's no what if. Only what it was. All things happen for a reason.

    Yes, I may reveal more in future posts.

    "Following the instructions to get the photos in the first place is a good testimony of the relationship you have with your Maker."

    OMG, trust me...it's taken me YEARS to listen to and follow instructions. I still struggle with it. However, I think it was much easier for me to do this during that retreat because I was totally surrendered to everything that was happening. The tricky part is doing it in my day to day life, when my mind gets in the way.

    " I sometimes need reminded of what's truly important on this earth."

    Me too, Mel. And thank YOU for being my great reminder. Your blog is constant source of reminders for me.

    (((( Mel ))))

    Thank you for stopping by, dear lady!

    Happy Monday to ya!

    X

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  16. Hiya Val~

    OMG...you're back! I so missed your photos throughout the weekend!!!

    "this makes me want to do the same thing, but on a private beach, on an island."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA....yes, I know how you love the warmer climate. You would have freaked during this winter retreat. The temps never got above 20 degrees. Mornings were 2-3 degrees.

    Brrrrrrrrrr!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl!

    Have a wonderful Monday!

    X

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  17. Bonjour Susu~

    " I speak with God. Pleading Him to listen and to answer. Especially when worries and anxiety come."

    Yes, me too. And the challenge for me is in the listening. During this retreat it was far more easier for me to do that because I was at a place where I was so ready to let go of myself.

    "I keep believing, just like you, that I am not alone. It gives me sweet hope."

    (((( Susu ))))

    Thank you so much for stopping by, beautiful lady!

    You're a sweetheart!

    Have a wonderful Monday!

    X

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  18. Goooood Morning Nitebyrd~

    "There definitely is "something" out there that does fill us with love, beauty and wonder. Something that keeps the demons at bay."

    Yup....I agree.

    And it's amazing how when we are at the deepest level of darkness....light shines through.

    I know you know what I mean.

    (((( Nitebyrd ))))

    Thanks for stopping by, Sis!

    Have a great Monday!

    X ya!

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  19. Good Morning SuzieCate~

    "It is important to get "in touch" and refocus, redirect, and renew appreciation...I know you know exactly what I am talking about."

    Yes...I know what you are talking about.

    And you hit the nail on the head.....

    "renew appreciation"

    That's it!

    Thank you for stopping by, dear lady!

    Happy Monday to you!

    X

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  20. Good Morning Valerie~

    "How I have longed to do something like that, but I was never brave enough.'

    I was at a point where I was SO ready to do it. So for me, it wasn't that I was brave. I was just ready and willing.

    I actually didn't spend three months in isolation, it was only 7 days. I took three months off and didn't work.

    Yes, I do believe that "something" watches over ALL of us.

    Thank you so much for stopping by today, Valerie!

    Always such a pleasure to see you.

    Have a lovely day, dear lady!

    X

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  21. Hi Ronnie,
    Thank you for sharing this story my dear.
    You needed this retreat ,and I think that you recieved a message.
    I also do answer my questions in a very adult way,but what if you have the feeling that there is something "more"??
    I feel it; I'am going to sound silly but I got goosebumps looking at your pics,and my skin is still tingling...

    Iam a rational person but I always leave room for what we cannot explain by logic alone.

    And yes,you are not alone...
    ((((((((((Ronnie))))))))))

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  22. Bonjour Barbara~

    "You needed this retreat,and I think that you recieved a message."

    Yes, I did. There was so much more that occurred during those 7 days which I may share in future posts. It was a very OPENING experience for me.

    "Iam a rational person but I always leave room for what we cannot explain by logic alone."

    Me too. But I also know there are many things that cannot be explained by my rational mind. Some things are simply...faith.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend!

    Hope you and Mr. Didier are having a MARVI Monday!

    (((( Barb + Didier ))))

    X

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  23. I'm with Barba on this one. Yes, things happen for a reason and we all need to learn to listen to that inner voice. Think of how many times people have done things just because "they had a feeling." I feel they are listening to inner voice and that their guardian angel is there looking out for them. That last picture to me actually looks like a torso. I know it sounds silly but I think your angel was trying to reveal itself to you. So glad you listened!

    Have an inspired week my friend.
    {{{Ron}}}

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  24. Ron, I am completely speechless. What a riveting life experience. Thank you so much for sharing it! I wish I could share an intelligent insight, but this is too incredible. Again, thanks so much for sharing.

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  25. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing that. I really believe that there is some guiding spirit that helps us in times of need. I like to think I have some sort of guardian angel.
    And, I absolutely believe everything happens for a reason. Even when the outcome seems terrible I look for how it changed me both positive and negative.

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  26. Helloooooooo Peg~

    Yes, things definitely happen for a reason. In fact, this whole thing happened for a reason that I may share more of in future posts. It was life-changing for me. I literally saw things through a new set of eyes.

    "I know it sounds silly but I think your angel was trying to reveal itself to you."

    No, that doesn't sound silly at all because I see what you mean!!! It looks like a torso with a flowing gown; floating.

    Me too, so glad I listened. I have these photos framed on a wall in my apartment. Last night, I looked at them again and decided to share them with you guys and gals.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

    Enjoy your week!

    {{{ Peg }}}

    X

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  27. Hi Diane~

    Oh, you are so welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading.

    This was one of those experiences in my life that took me almost a year to be able to put into words. When I first came back from the mountains, I told my friends that I couldn't explain it. So much more happened that literally changed my life. I'm forever grateful for the experience.

    Thank you for stopping by, my friend!

    Hope you had a wonderful day!

    X

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  28. Hiya Jen~

    Oooooo...I can't wait to see you in September, because I know the two of us will be chatting up a storm; sharing life experiences.

    "I really believe that there is some guiding spirit that helps us in times of need. I like to think I have some sort of guardian angel."

    Me too. And afer this experience...I REALLY believe - HA!

    "I absolutely believe everything happens for a reason. Even when the outcome seems terrible I look for how it changed me both positive and negative."

    You are soooooooo smart, my friend.

    Some of the most negative experiences I've had in my life have ended up being the most positive.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by and sharing on this post! Much appreciated!

    Enjoy your evening!

    X

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  29. ron, i do think this is the image of something other worldly because i can feel it in my heart when i look at it...i would say an angel touched you that day, blessed you and your time spent healing...blessed you for the time to come as well...how lovely is this post...sometimes you surprise me in wonderful ways♥

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  30. Hello Dearest Linda~

    "do think this is the image of something other worldly because i can feel it in my heart when i look at it."

    Yes, me too. That's exactly where I felt it when I first looked at these photos. I actually had them blown up so I could see the colors more clearly. They're hanging on my wall.

    This experience changed me in so many ways. Almost as if I was energetically altered.

    Thank you so much for stopping by, my friend!

    Always a highlight!

    Have a wonderful evening!

    {{{{ Linda }}}}}

    xoxoxoxoxoxo

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  31. Ron, No matter what caused the image I like your reasoning of it because I feel that the Good Lord shows us things and leads us in certain directions and if we choose to look at these things and listen to him then life is good.

    So many people write off things like this so to say and never see what we are being shown or hear the guide that takes us in the proper direction.

    God leads us and shows us how to handle ourselves, we just have to be smart enough to follow :)

    Excellent post my Friend

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  32. Howdy Jimmy~

    *jumping up and down*

    It's sooooooooooo great to see ya, bud!

    I was so excited to read your last post. So happy to hear the news! Bless little Benjamin!

    " because I feel that the Good Lord shows us things and leads us in certain directions and if we choose to look at these things and listen to him then life is good."

    I agree, Jimmy.

    It's taken me years to trust those feelings of guidance. I still struggle at times. But, I've never been lead wrong.

    Thank you so much for stopping by, my friend!

    Safe journey home!

    X to you and Cindy!

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  33. Oh Ron what a special experience you were offered. I am sure the stories you have to tell are intense. REally, whether anyone believes them or not has no bearing as it was your gift given to you. I am pretty sure that I have a few people looking out for me and I feel blessed knowing their presence exists. I need all the help I can get! Ha. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful experience with us.
    Katherine
    xxoo

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  34. Good Evening Katherine~

    "I am pretty sure that I have a few people looking out for me and I feel blessed knowing their presence exists."

    Yes...and you DO, my friend! I believe we ALL have. We can call it whatever we wish, but there is definitely guidance, support, and love around us.

    I may share more stories in future posts.

    Thank you so much for stopping by, Katherine!

    You're such a sweet soul.

    Enjoy your evening!

    xoxox

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  35. Oh Ron! I would love to spend seven days like that! What an amazing experience for you.

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  36. Hi Meleah~

    Oh, you would LOVE it! I know you would, fellow Libra! You would really get into it.

    Thanks for stopping by, girl!

    Hope you had a flawless day!

    X

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  37. You should really clean your lens before snapping photos...it really will help cut down on the glare!


    Bwahahahahahahaha


    I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself.


    Seriously though, good stuff my friend. Your story and pics remind me of many backpacking trips through the mountains and hills of California.

    Funny how when it's the quietest we can often times hear the most.

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  38. OMG...OMG...OMG..it's Jeff!!!!!!!!!~

    It's so freaking great to see ya, buddy!

    YAAAAHOOOOOOOO!

    "You should really clean your lens before snapping photos...it really will help cut down on the glare!"

    Bwhahahahahaahahahahahahahahaha!

    I laughed my ass off at that because I was wondering when someone was going to say it! Leave it to YOU!

    I love it!!!

    Oooooo....I bet you've had some wonderful times in the mountains and hills of California. The photos I've seen of the mountains in CA are breathtaking. I've only been to the Tahoe Mountains on the west coast, and they were gorgeous.

    "Funny how when it's the quietest we can often times hear the most."

    You said it!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, Jeff!

    You made my day!

    Enjoy your evening!

    X

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  39. Great post/pics! Makes me want to up stakes and head out to Joshua Tree for a few months.

    It's funny how we're conditioned to live two lives; half of our being is consumed with holding down a job and providing for our family, and the other half is simply filling the void until the workday begins anew. It really is a vicious cycle that's nearly impossibly to escape from. Is this how we were meant to whittle away the fleeting hours of our short lives?

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  40. Hi Herman~

    "It really is a vicious cycle that's nearly impossibly to escape from. Is this how we were meant to whittle away the fleeting hours of our short lives?"

    Great observation. And it's true, we ARE conditioned to live two lives.

    I think for me, the struggle comes in finding a balance. Doing what I have to do to provide for myself in my life (work), but then remembering to take time to do things for my soul. Like retreat, to replenish.

    I just wish I knew how the hell to keep that "replenished feeling" once I get back to WORK.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHA!

    Thanks so much for stoping by, Herman! You always add such great stuff to my posts.

    Thank you!

    Enjoy your evening!

    P.S. Hi to Tyler and your wife!

    X

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  41. Oh, Ron, I so need some time alone in the mountains! What an amazing experience you had. Those pictures made me cry.

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  42. Ron, what an inspiring post. Your retreat sounds like it did you a world of good.

    I believe you saw angels (but I believe in ghosts so what do I know. In fact, there's a great post idea, thanks! You are an inspiration to me and you don't even realize it).

    It doesn't matter whether you had a glare or an angel follow you that day, what matters is that you came back 'healed and renewed'.

    You have a wonderful day buddy!

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  43. Hiya Chrissy~

    OMG...it's so faaaaaaaaaabulous seeing ya, girl!!

    I've been thinking about you so much lately, and sending you LOTS of Reiki and love. Hope you've been feeling it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

    {{{{{ X Chrissy X }}}}}}}

    Have a wonderful day!

    X to Bernie!

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  44. Good Morning FGTE~

    "Your retreat sounds like it did you a world of good."

    Yes, it did do me a world of good. And I needed it at the time, believe me.

    "but I believe in ghosts so what do I know."

    Yup...so do I! One of these days I may share a story about seeing one while I lived in Florida.

    "It doesn't matter whether you had a glare or an angel follow you that day, what matters is that you came back 'healed and renewed"

    (((( FGTE )))))

    You're right.

    Thanks so much for stopping by today.

    You have a wonderful day too!

    X

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  45. I like to think the colors are the fragments of your aura finding one another :)

    this is beautiful Ron

    I love you

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  46. Hello Lady Dianne~

    "I like to think the colors are the fragments of your aura finding one another."

    OMG...what a beautiful and VERY perceptive feeling!

    And ya know what? It could very well be!

    Thank you for sharing on this post, dear lady!

    Always enjoyed and appreciated!

    I X you too!!!!

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  47. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us. I can listen to stories like these endlessly, and take turns and tell you of my travels and similar experiences. Too much to say to say it all here. Suffice it to know that when I have trusted my own life to a higher power and made a connection to the natural, I realize that I don't control anything, and I shouldn't try to. That realization is healing, every time.
    By the way, I have sold everything I owned and quit many jobs over the years. So much so, I made a lifestyle out of doing it. Check it out

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  48. Good Morning Spadoman~

    "when I have trusted my own life to a higher power and made a connection to the natural, I realize that I don't control anything, and I shouldn't try to. That realization is healing, every time."

    You said it, man!

    Losing control....has been a HUGE lesson for me (and still is at times). This particular experience was the beginning of learning that.

    "By the way, I have sold everything I owned and quit many jobs over the years. So much so, I made a lifestyle out of doing it. Check it out."

    Yahooooooo! Sounds like a GREAT lifestyle to me!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and adding to this post!

    ALWAYS enjoyed!

    Have a super day, buddy!

    X

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  49. aw loved this post! and how right you are!

    so glad you got to take off of life for awhile and experience that. i got to do that, of course, mine was forced after being fired. but still, it was pretty great not having a schedule for awhile!

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  50. Hi Blunt~

    Glad you enjoyed!

    (((( Blunt ))))

    "i got to do that, of course, mine was forced after being fired. but still, it was pretty great not having a schedule for awhile!"

    I honestly think things happen for a reason, so I'm sure that time off gave you a great opportunity to be inspired with your photography and writing. You're so talented, girl!

    Always great seeing you! Thanks for stopping by!

    X

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  51. Wow. Just amazing.

    I would love to take a similar sabbatical. Because lately I've had a hard time believing in a higher power. And I would dearly love to encounter an angel.

    Those photos are beautiful. No, it doesn't matter what they are exactly. The fact that they ARE is all that matters.

    Thank you for sharing this incredible story.

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  52. Good Morning JD~

    "Because lately I've had a hard time believing in a higher power."

    I know what you mean because at the time I took this retreat, I felt the same way. I soooooo need this sabbatical.

    And you're absolutely right, it doesn't matter what they are exactly. The fact that they ARE is all that matters.

    (((( JD ))))

    Thanks for stopping by, girl! Always a pleasure seeing ya!

    Have a super day!

    X

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