Four Simple Words

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I felt it in my heart this morning as I groggily stretched this old body out of slumber into wakefulness.  It was whispering in the deep corners of my mind and pressing on my soul.  It is not an easy feeling to hold on to.  It will come and go from my heart, as I am sure it does in yours.  Four simple words.  Those four simple words start as one word.  Peace.  It is a concept, a feeling, a righteous goal, a mountainous task.  Peace.  The word seems simple enough.  Why is this simple word so hard to express in our lives?  Where does this “feeling” of peace go when life feels more like an uphill battle than a walk in the park?  I do not have those answers.  I continue to explore my world in search of inspiration.  So this morning I added three more words to it as I posted to my friends on Facebook.  I wanted to see where this statement would lead me.

Peace be with you.

I am not asking for world peace.  I am not stating I have peace.  Just four simple words….Peace be with you.  May you carry it with you today, tomorrow and always.  May the forgiveness that embodies peace surround you.  May you find in your daily routines, peace.  I want these four simple words for all people.  I want peace to go with you in your heart and stay with you, always.

Peace be with you.

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Career Longevity

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How long are most careers?  I know when I was younger, most adults taught me, that careers are a lifelong commitment.  Most people may change companies after 15-20 years but you stayed in your chosen profession.  As I aged and neared the workforce, the perception of career longevity shifted.  The time spent with each company was reduced from the aforementioned to 8-10 years, with a sprinkling of late-in-life total career changes.

Now as I sit writing to you, I being near “middle-aged”, and only in the job market for 20 years, am enjoying my third career.  This is not what I learned when I was young.  You choose a field of expertise and spent your working career perfecting it.  Several friends and family have also enjoyed numerous careers in their lifetimes.  What does this say about the changing marketplace for the new incoming college graduates?  Is it reasonable for a 20-something, young adult to spend $50,000 every few years on college educations for new career paths?

The ever changing climate of America’s working class dictates the longevity of someone’s career.  I expect it will shift again, leaving room for more growth within our society.  I love to see the excitement in someone’s eyes as they begin a journey to new discovery.  Whether it is a new career path, or learning a new aspect of a current career, we all should keep learning and growing in our careers.

Travel well my friends.

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Long Work Weekends

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Home again!  I love being on the road, but coming home feels wonderful too.  My work leads me on journeys.  This past week I discovered winding trails, small oasis retreats, historical markers, and so much more!  What astounds me is I found all this in Kansas.  I live in Nebraska.  You would think Kansas is just an extension of Nebraska, yet it is not. They are very different in so many ways.  From architectural designs to community forums, each state has their own personalities’, and I loved discovering all I could in one long weekend.

A friend recently asked me how work was going, just normal chit chat, between friends.  I expressed how much I love my work.  As the conversation progressed my initial response of love, was soon overshadowed by the dawning knowledge, I was having a very hard time dividing my work from my play.  I find myself working when most are relaxing.  Even traveling for work I was not taking time to play.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love my work of exploration for the sheer joy of it.  Treading up a hillside just to see where the path leads, poking my nose into a local store just to meet new people, taking photos of a run down school house just to share it with anyone who will listen, those are the events that keep me working.

The problem I have seen in myself over the past few months is I stopped shutting work out.  That distinct line between your work life and your ‘real’ life is very fuzzy right now.  I know I am not the first entrepreneur to feel this, and I am sure I won’t be the last.  What I want to stress to every independently employed person is to not lose complete sight of that separation.  Find time to shut the work away, look to others to distract you from your to-do-list, embrace the life you created with a clear mind ready to be wholly present for the ones who count on you.

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Just For Fun

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Bring Home Travel

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“Every step we take is a step closer to discovering who we are meant to be.”

Our travels with Soul Experiences takes us all over this vast world.  It is sheer joy to experience new destinations with fellow travelers.  Immersing yourself in another culture with patience and understanding feels easier to accomplish when you are not alone.  While we journey to our next discovery our feet trod across any number of surfaces.  Who walked here before us?  What did this road look like before it was paved?  Where will this path lead?  Our feet kiss the earth with determination, taking with them every place we have graced.

It is a soulful moment when you arrive home only to find you have brought a little of the foreign land with you.  As you wash your travel worn clothes, unpacking all your treasures, settling back into your ‘real’ life, you reveal to yourself the magic of a smear of mud.  Not just the grime of the place you call home but the smudge from half a world away.  

The rejuvenation of travel feeds our spirits, our souls, the part of us that makes us…us.  Bringing home the experiences of our travels reminds we must move forward everyday.  Moving ever toward the person we are meant to become.

Travel well my friends.  

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Sun In Your Face

Originally posted on Soul Experiences :

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“Turn your face to the sun…and the shadows will fall behind you.”

Traveling with little, to no, destination in mind is a wonderful way to discover new unexplored areas.  Lessons I have learned while traveling are invaluable.  Until you walk, dine, interact, immerse yourself in a region you cannot fully understand the travel presence in a community.

Iowa is home to miles and miles of year round outdoor activity opportunities.  Even the urbanized areas put a high value on their green spaces.  You would be hard pressed to find a city, town, or community that does not boast at least one city park.  The open areas are shaded by towering shade trees, and the hiking trails lead you on remarkable winding adventures.  It is a nice respite to hike instead of drive for awhile, even if I no destination in mind.   

As I wandered aimlessly down a twisting path, through the overgrown brush, the words above crossed my…

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The Wild West

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What can money buy?  Well quite a lot!  On my travels back from the Black Hills I stopped off in North Platte Nebraska just to see what money can buy.  My destination was Scout’s Rest Ranch just north and west of this growing community.  Scout’s Rest Ranch was the retreat home and entertaining oasis for Buffalo Bill Cody.  He built his ranch during the height of his Wild West Show entertainment era.  Buffalo Bill called North Platte home, although he was away for many more days than he was actually there.

The grounds of this historic park are beautifully kept.  233 acres of the original 4,000  have been designated a state historical park 16 of which encompass the actual living space of the Cody family and are open to the public to explore.  The rest of the 233 acres are part of the state parks of Nebraska.  Camping, picnicking, hiking and relaxing are available.

The Victorian mansion was built in 1886 at the cost of $3,900.  No expense was spared in the construction of his home.  Large, graceful living areas were furnished to Buffalo Bill’s liking.  Areas open to large numbers of guests invite you to stay awhile and enjoy the respite from the wide open and usually dusty plains. 

Two huge barns also graced the property.  The original horse barn is still standing.  Giant white letters on the roof, which are original to the barn, announce where you are, in case you forget.  The enormity of the barn leaves no room for doubt of the wealth the owner once possessed.  Pictures on the wall showcase the T-barn which was adjacent to the horse barn but burned down in a fire long ago. 

This bygone era is richly displayed with memorabilia throughout the buildings.  Posters hung on the walls advertising this American icon remind you of a time when simplicity was not that simple.  Fame does have a price and even the richest among us long for more in their lives.

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