"I am a woman in process. I'm just trying like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience,and learn from it.
Life is never dull." ~ Oprah

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gifts of Life

You know, this cruise has been such a gift!  At this point in my life I am learning how to slow down, relax, and find more balance in my life, so I find myself on a ship, at sea, with nothing to do.  I’m not in a new-to-me place where I can find endless places to see; I’m not at home where I can find endless things to keep me busy; I am here.  Right here on this boat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea! 

I can’t say that I haven’t gone full force while I’ve been on this cruise, this vacation.  But I have made great effort to give myself time to rest, on my own, in my room, by myself.  I can spend time with myself these days with ease, which is a fairly new concept for me.  My life has been lived in the extremes for as long as I can remember...Go - Go - Go! until all I could do was “veg-out” - a way to escape being with myself, with my feelings and emotions.  Now, so much of my life is being reshaped into the form of myself I knew when I was born onto this earth.  I am able to find more innocence, goodness, beauty in people, and in myself.  I’m finding new ways to let go of mistrust, fear, and loneliness.  My Light shines brighter with each new day, with each new step I take on The Path of my Life, with each choice I make to take care of my body...I AM happy and full of joy.

There is a quote from a movie I watched earlier in the week that I’d like to share:
“Why do we die? ...because death gives more meaning to Life.”

Some of us walk around dead; we stop living; we get caught up in fast-paced lifestyles; we get stuck and lose sight of our dreams.  In the book I’m reading, The Pilgrimage, I found a passage that captures this:
“The good fight is the one we fight because our heart asks it of us.  In the heroic ages - at the time of the knights in armor - this was easy.  There were lands to conquer and much to do.  Today, though, the world has changed a lot, and the good fight has shifted from the battlefields to the fields within ourselves...The good fight is the one that’s fought in the name of our dreams.”

I am an unmarried woman with no children, so it is easier, in a sense, for me to follow some of those dream I had at a young age.  I know many women who struggle with making their dreams come true because they made choice along the way they feel are holding them back - I encourage you ladies, and men, to find new dreams, or different versions of the same dreams, one that might work for you today. 

Here on the ship, I have met numerous kind, compassionate and generous people.  I have also encountered some very negative, obnoxious, closed-minded and rude people who can’t find enough to complain about.  The majority of staff are overworked, but usually have a smile on their faces and greet everyone who walk past them - even if they are in the midst of cleaning hand rails.  It’s not what we do that makes us who we are. It is what we give of ourselves, what smiles and positive energy we can pass on, the attention we give to the beauty around us in everyday life...it’s Love that we find somewhere deep inside of ourselves to give to every being we encounter.  And when we don’t have the capacity to show it outwardly, we give it anyway through compassion.  For those people I don’t wish to be around - I hope they find Joy, Happiness, and Love.  I know that’s all I really want.  To feel whole, to be listened to, and to feel appreciated.  But for me to accomplish any portion of those things, it seems I’ve had to find my own wholeness, not dependent on a husband, child, parent, or friend.  I’ve had to listen to myself - to my heart and not my head.  I’ve had to appreciate my own goodness.

Life isn’t easy, neither is death.  My dreams are becoming reality - are yours?

Today, all I have done is rest and relax.  I spent three hours in the Thermal Suite and dedicated time to everything available...even the Japanese Plunge Pool and IceRain shower.  I made effort to take a moment to feel how all the different temperatures, bubbles, droplets, steam, tiles felt on my body.  I also had the opportunity to watch the beautiful brilliant blue waves rise and fall in the beaming sunshine for long periods of time - quite soothing.
ladies jacuzzi

ladies sunroom

Japanese Plunge Pool


rain shower

This afternoon I had a two hour Spa session.  The first portion was called a seaweed wrap.  I laid on a foil blanket while the seaweed mixture, a pasty green substance, was placed on my back, arms, and legs.  The foil blanket and plastic sheet (somewhat like the bladder of a waterbed) was wrapped around me. I was lowered into the bed of heated water and allowed to rest for 20 minutes.  The seaweed mixture is for detox and deep tissue rejuvenation.  It felt cold and hot at the same time, so good!  I tried to visualize how my cells were recuperating, regenerating and healing.  Jessica, my attendant, helped me out and up so I could shower off the mixture.  Then I got wrapped up again in a foil blanket and lowered back into the bed of water for another 20 minutes.  This felt even better and I thought to myself, we should sleep in these kind of beds!  Out, up and showered again...then to the massage table for an hour full body massage.  Talk about heaven - I was so relaxed I couldn’t help but enjoy every single moment.  I felt like I was in a trance for at least 30 minutes after I left.  Allowing myself to be pampered is difficult for me, but I’m simply allowing it to happen.  It nurtures my body, mind, and spirit - which is perfect way to be good to myself!

Tomorrow morning it’s yoga on the ship, the square in Valletta, Malta for coffee and breakfast, then an excursion at Noon to the island’s Prehistoric Temples that date as far back as 2800 BC.  I’m looking forward to it  :)

Have a great evening!  We’ll talk again soon...

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