Wild and Exciting and Yes, can be Exhausting

      Summer has begun. Spring has sprung. Of course we have to connect with every friend and family member we haven’t seen in awhile because winter was too dang busy and maybe a beautiful baby was born, and we haven’t seen our sister, brother or cousin in too long and and . . . Of course we have to take this exciting trip and that special workshop because airline tickets are cheap right now and who knows when the time will be right again!

      Can anyone relate to this in their lives right now?  
      It’s fun . . . exciting . . . and is anyone besides me feeling tired?
     I just finished a wonderful wonderful weekend with my daughter, Shawna, and her friend, Melissa. They had flown out from California for a hike up a Pike’s Peak trail with wonderful neighbors and old friends, and the Green Mountain Falls trail crew to dedicate a trail bridge my husband had built before his passing ten years ago.
We all sang the last song Steve had written, with the chorus generously contributed by Shawna Gallaway:
          “Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu
          When someone smiled at me today, I caught me smiling too
          I walked around the corner then and someone caught my grin
          It was then that I realized, I’d passed it on to him!
          So . . . smile smile away, come smile with me today
           From ear to ear all thru the town
          Up and down and all around
          Smile smile away, come smile with me today
          Lighten up and feel the love
          And smile smile away.”
     Oh how fun and touching was this event . . . a final goodby and letting go! Now if you hike the Catamount Trail in the future, you’ll find a sign by a log bridge that says: “Steve’s Bridge” with a sign underneath that says “Smile”.
     So, after horseback riding in Garden of the Gods, a playful afternoon at the Renaissance Festival, followed by a yummy dinner at friend, Kim’s, house, I took “the Girls” to the airport for the trip home. Now I’m striving to SLOW DOWN again.  
      I don’t do the SLOW DOWN THING very easily so I went to a one day workshop with my favorite NIA teacher, Mel Stahl, at a beautiful, local retreat center on  Sunday, the 22nd to ground myself and “reset” the nervous  system button. It worked! After some great personal sharing, some dance, nature hike, and incredible healthy food . . . I feel grounded, ready for sleep, and looking forward to some relaxed time the next few days. Aaaahhhh . . . yes, I’m remembering to breathe through the Respiratory Diaphragm (ribs).
      Hey, I’m properly Semi-Retired another level now. After some major clean-out of my office at Heart of Manitou Salon so others can share it, I’ve removed yet another day of work.   
I’m only working THREE DAYS A WEEK now!  
 You need to CALL AHEAD if you want to get in: 719-213-1066.
     Didn’t someone tell me that it’s easy to be busier in retirement that when you’re working full time with a regular schedule?? Well, here we go . . . and I’m finding ways to make it a healthy transition.
     I’ve had to finish up some things, though . . .  
    Three weeks ago was the culmination of several months of planning and preparing for Manitou’s “I Choose Love” celebration with the arrival of artist/musician/friend/brother, Shawn Gallaway, and eight Ukrainian mental health   workers/psychologists who had never been in the USA before. It was all sponsored by Kat Tudor, and Don Goede, owners and leaders of the Manitou Smokebrush Foundation.  
     Shawn’s concert was magnificent where we all got to sing a song he’d written for our Manitou artist/ikon, 87 year old Charles Rockey. I never saw Rockey cry before, but he did that night as he received our love. Then Shawn joined Barry and Janae Weinhold, long time Psychologists, to present two weekend workshops for the Ukrainians and 15 to 20 more of us, in an exploration and sharing of our relationship with the opposite gender, and the patterns we had learned as children.
     We discovered these patterns are still deep in the subconscious and affecting our relationships. The Ukrainians shared their stories of growing up in a war torn country, where it wasn’t safe to go outside, and any group of ten or more usually had a spy in it where you could get thrown in jail or killed for saying the wrong thing. I felt deeply grateful for our country, America, and, in spite of the pain in our political environment right now, WE HAVE NEVER HAD TO LIVE WITH THE ANXIETY AND DANGER OF A WAR GOING ON ALL AROUND US! Think about it.
     When this was over, dear friend, Robert, saw how tired I w  as and spirited me off for several days of relaxation and fun in Taos, New Mexico . . . just to get away. Once again our relationship/friendship deepened as we explored that cute, so-much-like-Manitou town together. Thank you, Robert.
     Yes, I’m a bit tired from all this but, oh, I wouldn’t have missed one minute of any of these special times. I feel I’ve grown/changed. My heart is open. I feel deeply grateful for all the friends and family holding my hand from near and far. Thank you all.    Kathleen

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