Saturday, January 3, 2009

Final Thoughts on 2008-Photos from Sri Lanka

2008 was a rich year full of exciting adventures. It was a year of Travel and Personal Growth. 2009 is going to be a year of Artistic and Creative Living. Before I move on to 2009, I want to briefly cover the highlights from 2008.

What I learned in 2008
In a nutshell, what happened in 2008, is that I was able to shift things that I had read, heard, talked about, thought about, knew were good ideas, etc. and put these ideas into action. In 2009, I plan to continue to implement what I know to be true. Here's some of it:

  • I read a book in 2007 titled Eat, Pray, Love and what I took from that was the significance of travel in the spiritual and self-discovery journey. In 2008 I decided to put this knowledge into action. I needed to do some traveling....somewhere really far away. Somewhere that was so far out of my realm and comfort zone that I would be forced to view the world differently. This lead me to Sri Lanka on a spiritual tour in February of 2008, which then lead me to Sweden in July.

  • A new vantage point helps us see old things in new ways. Through actually physically moving myself to see things in new ways hiking, I was able to see how I could "move" myself figuratively speaking to higher levels of consciousness to view people and situations differently. I play with moving myself to places where I am able to "see" people in their best light with their best intention in mind. No one sets out to see how bad they can be.

  • I took my kids on a cruise to the Bahamas and Key West, FL. This is the second cruise I've taken my kids on alone, and I realized that they are now old enough that I can enjoy traveling with them. Cruises allow people of various ages to travel together in harmony. My personal preference is to find a destination and immerse myself in it. With kids, cruises are best. Something for everyone. We were at sea during a monsoon, and I really loved sitting in a leather chair reading a book looking out the window at the wind and rain. Living in the desert, this is a treat. I also enjoyed the gym on the ship that looked out into the ocean. Key West is awesome. I would love to rent a place there for a few months some day and simply write. The Bahamas was pretty lame, but I have fun everywhere I go.

  • When an individual is rude or misbehaves in any way, don't take it personally. It's all about what is going on with them. Something triggered a weakness. Horns came up. It happens to all of us. Recognizing this is helpful. It's directed at you, but not about you....say a silent prayer for their happiness. They need your understanding. They are lost and/or hurt.

  • When you hurt someone, make sure to sincerely apologize. Make sure you spell out the mistake you made so they know you know what you did. Empty apologies don't count. Make sure you don't hurt anyone on purpose.

  • Don't try to make people jealous. If people like you, they already know your worth and you don't need to show your own value. If a person isn't connected to you, you can't make them jealous anyway.
  • I also learned that travel intended to heal needs to be at the right time. If you are still struggling with depression and the crisis is still alive, the timing isn't ideal. The trips I took this year were timed perfectly.

  • I learned that pushing myself physically is something I can do. I can become as strong and fit as I decide to become.

  • I had never really injured myself until this fall. I was hiking in Sedona on Cathedral Mt. when I slipped on some gravel coming down the mountain and I heard my ankle snap. Because I was in shock I was able to get down the mountain. This lead to pain meds and eventually a week later, surgery. I experienced deep frustration at not being able to move around and exercise. I was humbled by seeing many people who had far worse injuries than myself. Many of their injuries were of a permanent nature. My ankle will fully recover. I am only inconvenienced for a short time. I am grateful for this experience, as it has shown me true friendship, appreciation for a healthy body that works well, and compassion for those who are hurt and may need my help in the future.

  • Friendships are extremely important and should be cared for. When I broke my ankle hiking this November I had to rely heavily on friends to help me. I had ankle surgery on my right ankle and was unable to drive for a total of 7 weeks. I had several friends who took care of me. I am now a better friend because I have received such kindess. I want to be a better friend.

  • I am in charge of my family and home....I can make it or break it for my children. My kids love it when I am nice, playful, and take good care of them. This is a huge responsibility. It's important for the family leader to take really good care of him/herself physically and spiritually.

  • If someone doesn't like the way they are living/existing, they need to make changes. Five years from now, things will look the same if we don't make changes. Changes can be made by writing a list of specific things that one wants five years from now. Word the goals in the present tense, and put them in a place where you can read it each morning. Each morning, set an intention to do something to make this goal begin to actualize. What we do today determines our tomorrow.

  • We are all powerful beyond our wildest imagination. What we do makes a difference. We can be helpful or hurtful. Choose to be helpful. The education and financial status we enjoy are tools that can be used to help others. They are not signs of superiority. Everyone has value. We are all equal.


  1. Janet,

    Thank you for sharing your reflections so openly with anyone who has the good fortune to visit your blog. I am very moved and inspired.

  2. Thanks, cousin. I hope you guys come to AZ this year. I would love to see you. I'm taking the kids to Cancun for a week in March, other than that, I'll be around.

  3. Janet,I love your blog,and It sounds like you have had some wonderful adventure.I hope in the future,I will be able to travel also.
    Sheila Gordon