travel

A grateful heart. A happy life.

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This week has been a celebration of life for me. More aptly this has been the anniversary of my birth. I am a year older this week, and hopefully I am a year wiser. I have certainly learned a lot this year, and have of course made a few mistakes. But each one has provided me great opportunities to grow and learn. Each of them, the good and bad, has provided me lessons that have better me. I have survived them all and am thankful for that as they have helped me to open up to more and more. And help me to allow in more in my life. 

During this week it has given me much to think about and ponder as I turn 38. While I look back upon a life that is now better lived. I can not help but to smile on where I am now in life. When I started this journey two plus years ago, I did not know where I would end up. I started with basically nothing. I was living an empty life, and had nothing to show for me. While I had some friends, and family, I was alone with them all. It’s a hollow existince to have to be surrounded by people yet be alone. 

Yet this journey has surprised me in so many ways that I can be nothing but grateful and thankful today. For all of it. In the course of that journey I have met so many incredible people that has become such important people in my life, people I can truly call friends. People that support me, care about me, are there for me, and above all of that, love me for who I am. That was a blessing I never expected to find in this journey. To be honest it was something I never thought I’d get in life. I was not looking for it, because I had come to accept that that was my life. That was the way I would always be. I am thankful I was proven wrong on that. Life has a tendency to  prove me wrong when I think I know something. And I am ok with that. 

When I started this journey I was so afraid to go anywhere. I had not taken an actual vacation in a decade, and since this journey, I have taken an actual vacation four times in that two years, and have visited so many sights and so many landmarks, that I have lost count of them all. And I am not complaining about that. There was a time I was wishing to not have to go places because that was easier for me. Now I’m wishing to go more places and see even more. Just wish I had the money to do so. As we all do that wish to travel. 

I have been blessed in so many ways, that I am so thankful and grateful for. All because I set out to change my life, and my life changed me. It’s opened so many doors and given me so much. Shown and taught me so much. And with that joy it has given me, I am able to create things with a grateful heart, as that is what I can now bring into my life. More things to be grateful for. I never thought I would be where I am. I never thought it was possible. I doubted too much and denied even more. Now I am able to watch miracles unfold in my life. See prayers be answered and doors open even further. 

Gratitude has gone a long way for me and does for everyone who is grateful. It creates a positive atmosphere within us that reflects out into our lives. My journey is only just beginning and now I am witnessing dreams of mine come true. So this week is a celebration for me, not just because I am older, but because I am celebrating  life. I was given life back to me, and I thank God every day for that. 

I am thankful for this journey, I am thankful for everyone who I have met, and heard from, who have told me my blog has inspired them. I am glad to had that and hope that this blog does just that. Inspired the light within you to help you make the changes you want to, to live the life you have only dreamed of. We are all worthy and deserving of good things. God, or whatever you want to call God, wants the best for us. And we deserve that. That love and happiness is real. And is a lasting part of our life. Something we will always have and cherish for as long as we live, and beyond. 

Be grateful. Be thankful. Love fully. And smile more. 

Adventure time: Wildwood and Penn’s Landing

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It’s been a while since I’ve written  anything on this blog, I’ve been slacking, and need to get back into writing, and back into adventure mode again. Hard to believe it’s already August, this year has been flying by. Next week will be my birthday, and I will be turning 38. I no longer have to be sad about that, not that I am sad about getting older, in times past, I was sad that I would be getting older and would have nothing to show for it in life. I was not doing anything. Now I can be happy to have an accomplished list of things I am  doing with life now. And this weekend was no exception. This weekend was an action packed weekend of adventures and fun. 

It started Saturday, when me and my girlfriend were deciding to go to Wildwood to lay on the beach. Oh yes, I have not mentioned that before, during my journey and getting out more, I was able to meet someone incredible, who had become such an important part of my life and journey now, who has helped me in so many ways, of opening up, and helping me go further in life. Before her I was afraid to really have someone in my car together with me, I hated it, if anxiety would happen, I would never want anyone to be there around it, to see it. Thanks to her, I have been able to drive five hours in a car with another person. And that has opened up many doors for me. I had been so afraid to date again, because of my issues, and people in the past not being understanding of it, and breaking up with me because of it. I am thankful to be able to have met someone who is very supportive and encouraging of me, even when I don’t see it myself. For those in my shoes who think they will always be alone and not find someone to make them happy and understand their journey, know that I was the same way, and was able to finally find someone. I had given up on it for a decade.  After that time, I was able to find someone. After allowing myself to be open again and interracting with people again. 

Of course Mother Nature had different plans for us as the weather was rainy and a little gloomy in the morning, causing us to not head out when we planned to. As the day went on and the sun came out again, we would eventually decide to drive down to Wildwood, while friends were down there. It was a spur of the moment, thing to finally do, after we originally were not going to go. And boy did we make the right choice to head down there and walk the boards. It was nice to be able to just go where ever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to, and go and enjoy myself. We walked the boards and played some games. We did one of those water gun games where you shoot the gun at a target, and it climbs the pole. The buzzer sounded, and I won. Only to see that another gun was faulty, causing them to re-do the race, and I didn’t win the second time. I was robbed out of my prize. I did get vindication by winning a Yoshi out of the claw game, first attempt. After a few hours there we headed home, after a fun night out walking around, and just enjoying life. 


We then had every intention to return to Wildwood and sit on the beach the next day, since we didn’t do that the first time, but our plans changed, and we decided to go and walk around South Street in Philadelphia, and walk around Penn’s Landing, with my girl’s parents. We even took one car, where I drove us all. A fear I used to have, and would never do before. People in my car, and those people being my girl’s parents. Double yowzer! I then survived that drive, and we even took the Patco in to Philly. A lot of that is what would normally stress me out in the past, and this was me testing myself all in the process. Pushing myself to see what all I can do. I am able to report I was able to make it into Philly with no issue. The idea of just randomly walking around, anywhere, would have really driven me off the edge. This time I was cool as a cucumber as I walked around the town. All over the place, and for hours with other people. We even really put my limits to the test as we went and ate food as well. Back in the day if I ever went out for whatever reason, you can bet your last dollar, I would have never gotten anything to eat. I would have starved myself instead of giving myself fuel to the fire of my anxiety and stomach issues. Now I can relax and enjoy foods with other people and then walk around. Where we ended up stopping and getting hand scooped ice cream, at Franklin’s, before heading back home. I did not have any ice cream, I gave up all that stuff to be healthy and to help my stomach issues. I don’t regret it because doing so has allowed me to do this type of stuff more easily. 

After arriving back at the Patco station and waiting for the train, I started to feel really agitated, and almost felt like I was going to have a full blown anxiety attack, and wanted to run away, and leave everyone. Before I realized it was not my anxiety I was feeling. I am sensitive, and an empath, so I can feel and absorb another person’s energy, and take it on as my own. Something I have just recently learned I could do. I now wonder how many anxiety attacks out of the blue were truly mine, or was the energy of someone else. The energy I was picking up, was really bad. Luckily I was able to send it away, and get away from them, and find my peace and serenity again, and return back home, after another fun day of adventuring. 

I am so thankful for this journey, for the people I have met, and those I can now call friends. My life has improved so much, and I can’t imagine my life any other way now. 


This was where we ended up eating on South Street. Not a bad little place. 

Adventure Time: Smithville Historic Park

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sign

While I have been very active these days it’s been a good time since I got out there and really took myself on an adventure. Mind you I have done plenty, I went up to the Poconos again and went horseback riding for the first time in my life. So I am remained busy and remained going places. It was nice to get back out there and really take myself on an adventure, as I have missed it. This week I happened to be on vacation, and did not have anything really planned. So I decided to make the best of it and get myself back to those adventures that really turned my life around.

redbank
Whitall House

I have gone to a few places this week so far. I went to a local lake and enjoyed the fresh air and water. I headed back to Redbank Battlefield, which I have been to many times in the past. There is something about that place. It draws me to it and I love being there. Down by the water, and just enjoying the sights. The main house, Whitall manor, is an interesting place. I have only been in there once, but this time, was the first time being there, since I become more open, and embraced my gifts instead of shutting them down. The house itself has so much energy. Just being near it, you can really feel it. As soon as I got near the home, I could feel it. It really hit my right in the chest. There is also a sense of sadness within the energy. It has been said, the place is active with spirits, that have died during the Revolutionary war, when the house was used as makeshift hospital. It is said to be more active in the higher floors, that were not open to the public when I went in there once last year. I need to get back into their, and really check it out, and see what I feel and pick up. That ought to be an interesting time.

door
Smithville Mansion

So my next adventure that I had taken, was to Smithville Historic Park, in Mount Holly. I had been to this place once before. Which you can read about, here. This place was my first stop when I started my adventure of going out so very long ago, back in March of 2016. 15 months ago. It was nice to go back to where it all started for me and just take a stroll through it all again. I have come such a long way in the past 15 months, to be back to where it all started was kind of a surreal feeling. When I took that first adventure I was very nervous. While I had been making great strides in my health and healing, and had just come off of a week in the Poconos, it was different to take myself out, on my own, into an unknown territory and continue to do it weekly for a year.

I had much to learn and open up to during that journey. While I was feeling better physically I still had to work on the mental aspects of my healing, and in working on the fear and anxiety that was controlling me and my life. So I came up with going on a weekly journey to push myself into new places in life. Something I had never done before. It wasn’t something that just happened for me. I didn’t just get out there and all that fear disappeared, no, I had to work on it. I had to work through it. For me I learned the only way I was getting through it, was to go through it. To face it head on. Which to me, was ironic, because I had always struggled with that concept. I had always fought the idea of facing fear to heal fear. To me that was a crazy concept and I could never do that. I have learned through that journey that I was completely wrong with how I viewed things in life and my life.

signs
“I saw the sign. It opened up my eyes, I saw the sign.”

 

For me, and I am sure many other people in the same shoes, I would spend countless hours asking for a miracle. Asking for a sign that we are being heard. Begging for help. Begging for the strength to get through another day. Begging for the courage to get through things. Begging for a miracle. Begging for help and healing. I was one of those people. I begged, and I pleaded, and hoped for a miracle. I hoped I would be given the strength and the courage to do it. To be able to live a normal life. And what I found, was surprising and shocking to me. I found that I had the strength, I had the courage, within me, all along. All I needed was the opportunities to see it myself. That was the greatest thing I found within myself through all this adventuring. Was that I could do it. I had the strength to do it. I was courageous and brave when in the face of scary things. I just had to believe in myself and what I could do. When I realized this truth within myself was when the real healing could occur. It was then that I could get out of my own way, out of my head, and allow myself to see things I never even knew existed within myself and within the world. It was then that my whole life changed and spiraled and snowballed into more and more.

My life has changed and improved so much and for the better in the past two years than I have ever seen in my life, for the entirety of it all. All because I dared to challenge the status quo of the life I created for myself. All because I knew I needed to and had to change my life. I had to changed everything. I could no longer sit idly by and let life pass me by. I could no longer not live life. And I was willing to do whatever it took to get there.

It was a triumphant moment in my life to return to where it all started, and this time, in a better state of being than when I first visited there. Where there was no fear about being there. There was no anxiety about how long I would be there. Or if I was able to do it. I was able to be there, be present in my adventure, and just enjoy myself and what I was doing. Walking, admiring, sitting on benches, and just enjoying life. It is a well earned victory for me. To enjoy life. To enjoy myself. Next time I return here I will need to take a tour of the mansion and the buildings, as I have not really explored them. I really spent my time walking around through the trails through the woods. Next time. There is now a next time. I can say that, and not dread it. I can enjoy myself. Finally.

stuff

Transforming my life for the better

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This popped up on my timeline today, I wrote it a year ago. 
“Just about a year ago, I was in a terrible place in my life. I was unhealthy, out of shape, in a lot of pain emotionally and physcially. I was in a very, very dark place in my life… I then decided to do something about it. Turn my life around. No one was going to do it for me. So I cleaned up my eating, and started running. Within a short amount of time things were changing and improving for me. I was becoming more than I could ever imagine. Within that time I dropped 70 pounds and got into the best shape in my life, I am feeling happy, healthy, and so much light. I am truly, for the first time in my life. Happy. I genuinly am happy to my very core, and I look forward with much optimism to the future and all that it will bring. I don’t wear tank tops, never have. It was not easy sharing a pic of one, even if I do look good. Na na na na na… Batman.”

It’s hard to believe the guy in the left is the same as the guy in the right and that that guy was me at one point in my life. Two years ago I sent out to change my life for the better. I never thought I would get to where I am today. Since I started that journey I have been to the Poconos, twice, to a Washington D.C., to Gettysburg and there is so many more adventures in there. I never could have fathomed being able to do any of that. Yet I am proud to say I have done that and so much more. 

I have seen and done so many things, and met so many people over the course of that two years. I am blessed and thankful for it all. I’ve seen first hand what fear can do to us and our lives and I know for us to get through the fear we have to walk through it. We can pray for all the strength in the world by only we can act upon the opportunities presented to us. Only we can act courageous in the face of fear. Many will supposed and encourage us but it’s up to us to act. Not everyone will understand our new journeys because they only knew us as the old us. Yet we become something so much more. 

My journey has shown me that if I can do it anyone can do it. Two years ago I set off on an epic journey to change my world and I am so glad to have done so. I look forward to where I will go tomorrow. 

That pic was a year ago, I have lost even more weight and finally am at a place where I love the way I look, and don’t hate to have picture taken. 

Here is what I look like today. 


That is what hard work and dedication will get you. And staying true to yourself. There was no shortcuts or magic pills. 

I’m creating a life I am proud of an can look back upon and smile. It’s not been easy and has challenged me in many ways. I know how eat it can be to just want to give up and run away. How the depression dark thoughts I have fought can still have a tendency to creep up on me and want to consume me. But I keep my head up, and keep the energy going, and keep moving forward to better things. And this time, the depression doesn’t win. It didn’t have power over me anymore. I don’t give it any. I don’t give in to it. 

I live life. 

Adventures in Gettysburg

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Back in 2016 I set off on what I like to call, an epic adventure. I explored the world and life for what felt like the first time. And I had fun in the process. This journey surprised me in so many ways. I learned about myself, met so many people, and did many things for the first time. My journey is only just beginning and I look forward to where it will take me in the future. 

I have not stopped exploring the world. I continue to visit and do new things and see new places. This past weekend was. I exception. Where I would go off to Gettysburg, for a psychic event, that I would be a vendor at, offering chair Reiki. It was cold. The day before it was 90, then the next day, it dropped to six. So there was not many people in attendance. Sadly, I got no sign ups for Reiki. Which, I won’t lie, was a little disappointing. Hopefully not a trend of things to come in the future. This was the third event of the year that I have been a vendor at. I would have never believed it to be so. 


Then on the last day there, I did some exploring of the Battlegrounds. Let me tell you, they are breathtaking and overwhelming, to see so much history all at once. To just be in the spot where a major, and bloody, battle took place. As a sensitive person, empath, I can feel the emotions and energies of the environment and the people. You could feel at times the energy that was still there. The heaviness and the pain. The sadness. Luckily, I did not feel too much, as it could easily have been overbearing. 

There was so many paths and things to see that I did not get to see it all. I did get to capture an evp, of a disembodied voice, answering a question I asked, and saying no, which was pretty cool. Which can be heard, here.  
Hopefully I can get out there again and explore some more. To be able to drive out there, have some fun, and not be worried about anxiety and fear, is an amazing thing. I also had to check it Sheetz, while I was out there. Where I live we have WaWa, so had to see this other place. They are very similar, but think WaWa has more variety to it. 

I look forward to my next adventure and vacation. Keep moving forward to new things. I would love to go to Salem, and check that out. One day perhaps. Unless I win the lottery. 

Bravely trying new things. 

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For the longest time my whole life revolved around my anxiety. It was my life. It was my way of being. It was the way life was to me. I had come to terms with that. It was not an easy conclusion to make about my life. That I would be anxious all the time. It was not a good way to live my life. Yet it was the only way I could live… or so I thought. 
Fast forward to today where I am finally at a place in my life where I can live a “normal” life that is not controlled by anxiety. And it feels great. It truly does. It was not something that just happened. It has taken me lot of work on myself, and a lot of healing on myself. To peel back the various layers of myself and who I thought I was. 

Every journey I take, I learn more about myself. I open up more and I heal even more. My journey has been all about healing my life, healing my anxiety, so I can love life. For the first time ever, I am loving life. Each new step I take, I push myself forward and into new territory. That is the only way really to get through all of this. Is to keep trying. Keep pushing myself. For so long I just stopped in my tracks, and now, I embrace, instead of run from. 

Today was another case of pushing myself into things that make me uncomfortable. To do something new. One of the things I do not like to do, is get into a car when someone else drives. For one, I get car sick, and driving helps that. Two, with my anxiety, and stomach issues, I never knew when it would hit, so I prefer the control of being in control of the car and when it stops. So to surrender that control was very scary. As fate would have it, I had to put my car in the shop, and had plans with friends to visit Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Robbinsville, NJ. I would have to either run away from not going, which would be pretty easy to do with my car in the shop, or get a ride with someone else. I opted for the latter. Even if running away would have been easier. 

Let me tell you, I am thankful that I got in that car. It was a fun trip, that was 40 minutes away. The temple was gorgeous. Such incredible works of art and beauty made out of marble. But the joy of being able to have been able to conquer a fear and go out like that, with other people in the car, visit a temple, drive home with them, and then go out to dinner, is a moment that will stay with me for a lifetime. All and all we were out for 6 hours. 5 years ago I would have never dreamed of that being possible. Yet I did it, with no fear or anxiety or panic. I was able to enjoy myself and hang out with friends and visit a beautiful temple. Then go eat and drive with another person driving me. Eating and going home used to be such a fear of mine. Until I started eating the proper foods for my body. Today was an incredible day. I am so grateful. And glad I continued to push myself into new things to go even further in life. 

On the way home, my friend said to me, I would have never believed you lived with anxiety for so long. I smiled and said, that is the way I am making my life now. Where I don’t even remember the old way, or any other way. 

The courage to try something new.

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courage

Spontaneity has never been a word that was a part of my vocabulary. While I may have heard of that word in my day to day living it was not a word that I was using. The idea of it, to just go and do something, don’t think about it, don’t plan it, just do it, made me sick to my stomach and would fill me with dread.

That was my way of living. That was life in a nutshell for me. And if you’ve ever seen a nutshell they are very tiny, you can not get much in them. So to have life in one of them did not leave room for much. Such was the life I was living. It was very routine. It was very repetitive. Such is the life of a person who was plagued with anxiety. It did not help that I am also introverted. So for me I never really had that desire to be out and mingle with my fellow peeps out there.

The idea of me going against my own core ideals was very foreign to me. Yet I knew if I was to ever make something of my life. To ever have a hope of a better life I had to take everything I had ever known, everything I ever believed was true for me, and throw it all out of the window. And create basically a brand new me. For the longest time I used to say people do not change. Not really. They could change their clothing style, and maybe their likes and dislikes could change, but they wouldn’t truly change who they are. At the end of the day they would still be the same them. Just with different clothes. That is what I believed. In some ways I still believe that to be true. Yet I have seen within my own life that it is possible to change who we think we are. And in essence change who we were. Not all of us will change and that is OK. Because those things that make up us are what make us unique and different than everyone else.

Maybe that is all superficial things that we can change and our core personalities always stay the same? I dunno. Can I go from an introvert to an extrovert? I guess that is something I will have to find out for myself.

So how do we do any of it? How do we get up and change something? How can I go from an anxious guy, not living life, to being able to go on a weekly adventure for a year? How do we get the courage to do that? We can pray for that courage and beg and plead for it, and we may receive what we ask for. But it will never be how we thought it would be. What I mean by that is, we will get opportunities to be courageous, to be brave. It is up to us to act on them. And that is what I had to do. I had to take those steps to be brave. To be courageous. To go out and have an adventure. It was the only way I would ever be able to change anything about my life. I had to take initiative. I had to take the first step.

I won’t lie, it scared the crap out of me. Even with my health doing so much better before I took that step. That was crucial for me. I had to feel better physically before I could feel better emotionally. As they were linked together for me. A lot of my anxiety stemmed from a body that reacts crazy to certain foods. Once I got a handle on that I had better control over my body and that helped me to be able to take more steps in my life. For me those steps were out on weekly adventures. Even with the better health there was still the mental aspect of it. As most anxiety is fear thoughts about the future because of something that happened in the past. So to break free from those thoughts I had to recreate new thoughts that reinforced a new reality. To do that I had to keep moving forward. Keep my life going. And keep doing new things.

Each step. Each adventure gave me more belief in myself. Belief in what I was doing. Believe that I could do this. I could go out. Was it easy? No, it was not. Is it always easy to do? No, it is not. There are sometimes when I want to just fall back into my old habits, and just say no. But I know I cannot do that. I cannot fall back into things. Or I will start to say no more and more. I have to try new things. I have to keep pushing the envelope on who I think I am and keep trying. I need to keep moving. As I encourage you all to do as well. Life and time will continue to tick by. We can either just let it go on without us. Or we can join it in its eternal dance. I don’t know about you, but after 36 years of not dancing, I want to dance until the cows come home. Well not literally, I’m not much of a dancer, but if I keep my mind open, one day I may light the floor up like John Travolta.

So can we as an individual change? Can we be something different than we were? I am starting to believe it is very plausible to change if we truly want and desire to. So can I go from introverted to a social butterfly? I don’t know. I don’t know if I purposely do it. Some would say I am shy. But I am not sure if that’s fully it. I just am not a small talker. Never really know what to talk about. It’s not that I don’t talk. Heck, I don’t shut up when I start talking. Even this post is going on so long that even I forgot what I was writing about. I think it’s about courage. And pancakes. How much better pancakes are than waffles. (Sorry waffle lovers, but pancakes rule. I will give you your due for putting ice cream and waffles together. Sadly I don’t eat gluten anymore for health reasons so I don’t get pancakes in my life these days. It’s sad. Truly is. See this is what I am talking about. Long whimsical rambling that had nothing to do with this post whatsoever. )  Yet when in public or with others I am quiet and reserved. I don’t really talk. It’s like I freeze up and don’t have anything to say. Even when people engage me I will speak short sentences and phrases, to just hurry along the conversion and get you to leave me alone. I sound like a cranky old man. But can I change that? Can I change who I am and be a social butterfly? I guess there is only one way to find out.

Anyways…

Life is crazy and exciting and it’s more so to just go out there and make something of life. To just have some wild and random fun. And if you are doing it with those you love those memories will be cherished for the rest of your life. And that is totally worth it.

Now I am living a life that is fun and that I truly enjoy. I can look back at a weekend or a day and say it was time well spent and had a lot of fun. When someone texts me about a gathering that is happening and if I want to go to it, I can get out there, on a whim, and do something new, and create new memories. That is truly a blessing to have in life. To get out there and make a memory.