The Very Best Pre-Christmas Gift

This morning during a quick break in my busy work day, I opened a facebook message from a friend and was delighted to see this quote, all wrapped up in red and green mistletoe, like a little pre-Christmas gift.

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At first I read this quickly and smiled at the reminder of the upcoming Christmas season.

“How lovely“, I thought.

But then the words gave me pause. I read the quote again. And once more. I allowed the words to trickle down from my brain to my heart, then from my heart to my hungry spirit. Within me, I felt that spirit give a full and satisfied sigh and fall gently into a deep relaxation. My soul entered into the rest of a weary traveller who has finally found her way back home; who has once again been able to fold back the sheets of her own familiar bed and sink deep within it`s comfort.

I had been away from this for far too long.

By way of brief explanation, three years ago I left my little church to wander the wilds seeking the Divine on my own. I had a lot of wonderful experiences, and the knowledge I earned during this period has given my spirit a depth that I never experienced before.

But like all travellers, the time came when the journey was over. The path was now leading me home.

I think this is why the quote spoke to me so strongly today.  Somehow it seemed this same Divine, who I had so relentlessly sought, whispered to my world-weary soul: “Relax. Stop running. There is no need to keep on searching after Me. I`m right here. Always have been. Always will be. Open the Gift of Me, and receive my Peace.“

Yes.

Yes, that sounds wonderful. That is wonderful.

And so now, I lunch by a big window, sun streaming over my head, on to the coffee cup and along the paper of my journal.

I feel my body relax.

I breathe in the Peace.

I take claim to this beautiful gift, and I realize —

this is so incredible.

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What I Learned from Travelling to Sturgis, South Dakota

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Fourteen days ago, my hubby, myself and nine of our friends, hopped on our motorcycles, saddlebags overflowing, and began a long 2,338 kilometre (1, 453 mile) journey from our rural homes in Ontario, to Sturgis, South Dakota. Our destination? The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

This entailed a long 3 day journey. “Why?” you may ask.

Well, by day 2 I was asking myself the same thing. But then I thought, while travelling across the prairie, there must be a reason why so many people have done this same journey for the last 75 years. There must be some lesson(s) to be learned.

And there were lessons learned.

Below are five things I learned from travelling to Sturgis (and back home again).

  1. Always prepare for the unexpected.

Driving along the interstate at 75 to 80 miles an hour provides a close-up view on how quickly weather conditions can change. Best advice ever: dress in layers and keep sunscreen and rain gear on hand. As well, never forget that clouds and an overcast sky are not forever. Keep steadily moving forward and you will see the sun break through before you know it.

2. Some days are awesome riding days. Some days are not.

And this is okay. When you encounter bumpy roads and other unpleasant conditions, remind yourself that “it is what it is”. It’s just not a good riding day. That’s all. Tomorrow, most likely, will be better.

3. We all get by with a little help from our friends – even when they start to irk us.

There is no doubt, travelling down the road as a pack in staggered formation, is way safer than travelling alone. Cars see and respect your space much more than when you are alone. As well, the extra eyes can spot possible dangers on the road much more efficiently.

Of course, there will always be that friend (or friends) who begin to annoy you. Perhaps one friend starts cutting in further up the line, so everyone needs to regroup. Perhaps another friend is slightly out of pace with the others, leaving too much or too little space between bikes. Set boundaries, keep open communication, and above all, maintain a sense of humour. In the final analysis, each one needs the others. So concentrate more on being kind than on who is in the right or wrong.

4. Trust your riding partner completely

When double riding, the passenger on the back must have complete faith in the driver. When the driver leans in to execute a turn or bend in the road, the passenger must lean in as well. If the passenger panics and leans the other way, the bike could easily be dropped. Bottom line is, partners must have faith in each other and move together in order to make the relationship work.

5. In the end, no matter how many come along side you, your journey is your own. It is individual to you. Be sure to embrace and love it.

The people you are journeying with will all have their own bikes and gear. Each will have their own individual style. Do not waste time comparing yourself to the others. They are on their own journey, and you are on yours. Enjoy the ride. Love where you sit in the pack. Have fun. Smile and laugh. This moment is for now to enjoy, and will be gone tomorrow.

As I mentioned before, it took three days to travel those kilometres/miles to Sturgis. When we arrived, we were treated to a wonderful time; great sights, scenic roads and amazing friendly people. There is only one first time in Sturgis – and we enjoyed every minute of it!

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