The heart loves silence

Have you slowed down enough to listen?  Where can you slow down enough to make space for the silent whisper of your heart?

There is so much silence here in the mountains.  On our daily hikes we have found secret meadows for a picnic, and spots where we can dip our feet into the cold mountain streams.

I have taken to meditating by the mountain stream.  The rushing water creates a background of pink noise that you can zone out to.  I imagine sending my energy and stress down to the earth and into the stream.  I invite the pine tree energy and the cosmic sky above to flow universal energy in through the top of my head, and mingle with the earth energy.  I can smell the pine trees, I can hear the running water.  I am sitting on the moist earth after a night of rain.  Running these two energies through my body clears out any “cobwebs” or stuck energy that I have picked up thought the day.

My two dogs sit beside me, drawn by the energy.  What a privilege to be here in the mountains at this time, insulated from the chaos in the rest of the US.

You can always find stillness inside if you slow down enough to listen. I would love to hear what is your place that allows you to get to still inside?

Quirks of living at altitude 

Wednesdays are my favourite day in the mountains.

We have a private salsa dance teacher come to our home.  I went on a site called one mans junk the facebook page -for the mountains.  I posted for a dance teacher.

We got a response from a professional ballroom dance champion.  He is amazing young professional, and a great teacher.

Where else can you get a professional to come to your home to teach you salsa in your living room. This champion ballroom dancer is working two restaurant jobs to make ends meet here in the mountains.

One local in a coffee shop said” there are two kinds of people in Breckenridge, those with 2 homes and those with 2 jobs”.

Dealing with Altitude physically:

I am so “regular” at altitude, which I never used to be.  Is it the pressure of gravity pushing down?

One product I swear by is called Resqwater on the bottle it says “Scientific research shows the ingredients in resqwater aid in muscle recovery, clinically tested”.

I have one of these a day in the morning, and I find it gives me my daily supplements.  I have never heard of this till coming to the mountains.  It is wonderful and it is way better than any sports drinks as it is natural and has no speedy ingredients. Check it out….resqwater.com.

Wacko Bathrooms

Only in the mountains do they have outdoor bathrooms in cold weather conditions.

I am sitting in a wonderful coffee shop called Cup a Joe’s, and next door is the popular yoga studio.  One coffee in, it is time for the bathroom, except the bathroom is outside.  You go outside down the stairs and through another building.

The same with the yoga studio no indoor bathroom. You are in the middle of a great  downward dog session and you need the bathroom. You need to get the key go outdoors, down the stairs and through another building, in minus 20 weather.

No one blinks and eye at this.  To compensate they crank the heat in the coffee shop and the yoga studio, all the staff are barefoot with shorts on.  The cafe is like a steam sauna,  you run outdoors to the bathroom, and back in.

How to dress in the mountains?

I assumed women here would wear sweaters and winter weight dresses.  Nothing is further from the truth.

In the street local women wear Sorrels and big coats.  Once the outdoor burka is shed.  Women wear tights, little mini skirts and a cami, or backless t-shirts with their tight and boots.

It is the strangely alluring look; big boots tights and lingerie.  Most of the 20 something women are half-naked but with their boots on!

“Rock on” in this mountain town.

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awe ô/ noun

How Awe Makes Us Generous

 

awe  noun

A feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder., wonderment; admiration, reverence, respect, esteem;
“we watched in awe”
“capacity to inspire awe.”

I am so intrigued by the role of awe in our lives.   It is not something I have generally thought about.  I think about eating right.  I think about exercising. How often do we think about getting a few minutes of awe each day.

I have been thinking about the benefits of activly seeking  daily awe.

I believe it is an essential key for inner happiness.

Consciously seeking awe in nature fills up my soul in a way that exercise never could. Stopping and noticing nature once per day is a conscious act.

“What we’re finding is that brief doses of awe move us from a model of self-interest to really being engaged in the interests of others. The preliminary data are showing that it starts to break down this us-versus-them thinking.”  A new study by Adam Hoffman at Berkely, finds that feeling awe in nature makes us more generous to other humans.

For me, awe creates a momentary sense of peace.  Within me, for me.  It is the act of opening and making space for awe that is miraculous. Researchers suggest that experiencing awe moves us from the “I” identity to the “we” identity.

Awe can change us as people, it can rewire us to feel something beyond ourselves.   The only other thing that can shift us into “we consciousness” is being in love.  Love opens us up to a flow.  We feel more relaxed and content when we are in love.   Awe experiences travel along similar pathways as love does in our brain.

The awe practice:  Seek out nature in all its forms, even if it is just an aspen tree rocking in the winter breeze. Stare up at it for 3 minutes, feel the awe, feel the inner happiness.

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Wild Women

Wild adventurous spirit in the mountains

The woman here are not your average women.  They are strong, independent and push the boundaries.  Gloria Steinem’s new book My life on the road talks about the women and men she met traveling across America.  She should have come up here to this American mountain town.  The women are true adventurers As one local said “you think you are a tough man, there is always a tougher woman”.   He is right.

While swimming at the recreation centre just outside Breckenridge I met a “mountain woman” she is 20 years old and living in her car, throughout the winter.  She has a good job and earns $1,500 a week, and chooses to live in her car.  I asked her about her daily routine;  she said she drives around, goes to work.  She has a membership at the recreation centre, she works out and then does her shower.  She said she does not let herself shower, if she does not work out, that is her one rule, because she eats out every day.

I asked about what how she gets through the night?  She said she locks the doors and keeps the car running throughout the night. She has a Honda accord and it is great on gas. She spends about $300 a month living in her car.

It seems in this gorgeous mountain town there are more jobs than there is places to live. A bedroom in a shared house averages $1,000  if you can find one.  It seems there is an underground population working day jobs, living in cars, and heated garages.  I asked her why people would put up with that.  She said “just to be here, this is a magical place”.  The woman here are defiantly not the norm, and I admire them.

I think back to when I was 20.  I was doing what was expected, going to college to get a degree.  I would have been too scared to break out on my own, much less travel by myself and live in a car.  Only since my husband’s death 8 years ago,  did I decide that I was fed up with waiting for others to travel with.   I remember a time when I was planning a south american trip with a girlfriend, and she cancelled because of her partner.  I distinctly remember the feeling that I could wait the rest of my life for a travel companion, or I could break out on my own and just travel.   So I did, and I have been traveling alone ever since.

Part of me wishes I had this adventurous spirit at 20.  What would I have done if I had bucked expectations and gone on a wild adventure 30 years ago?