It’s a little after seven in the morning and Cody and I just finished playing our first round of ball. We are still camped 20 minutes north of Asheville, North Carolina in a small campground right on the banks on the French Broad River. There are trees, some grass and several families of Canada Geese.
I have so been enjoying my time here. It is gorgeous, and quiet and alive with the water and the train and there are people to talk with and places to walk and explore. I’ve been getting together with old friends and new, and I even joined in at the Friday night drumming circle downtown.
I facilitated a Heart Sparks workshop at the local Unity of the Blue Ridge and a friend hosted a lovely book party at her home. And next week, I’m doing some Mac and iPad training.
I feel like I am just settling into something new in myself and I so wish I could stay here longer to really explore it without the distractions of traveling and what’s next.
But when I made my reservation, they were full for Memorial Day, so I was scheduled to leave on Wednesday and move on to Rome, Georgia, then Decatur, Alabama.
But on our morning walk on Sunday, the camp host stopped us to tell me they had a cancellation and did I want to stay longer.
My heart literally leaped in my chest with joy.
And even though I have a friend who has been diligently planning some Heart Sparks events in the next town over the holiday weekend, my whole body said Stay. And so I am. All the way through the end of May. And I am so. very. happy.
And as I sit here and open up to this space I have created, I can’t believe how good it feels to give myself this freedom, without a second thought.
I have been inviting friends to come and sit by the river with me. To relax and breathe and soak up the beauty of this place. And we have had such rich, reflective and inspiring conversations. I even had a massage right outside the RV, with the overcast sky and the water and it was incredible.
And, now that I am staying so much longer, I’m going to share the magic of this place at the Heart Sparks River Retreat Day. (Saturday, May 31. Email me for details!)
When I set out on this journey, I had a vision that I would meet someone new in Asheville. And I have. I have met myself.
For years, I have been stifling my sense of wonder and adventure, my love of connection, believing that I am happier playing it safe and comfortable, by myself. For those of you who know about the enneagram, I used to strongly identify with being a 7- optimistic, adventurous, enthusiastic. But in the last five years, I just haven’t felt it.
Now, suddenly, I am remembering how wonderful it feels to shine so bright from the inside, to show up for myself the way I show up for others, to say yes to things without stopping myself with old stories.
The other day I went to Walmart. I don’t usually shop there, but I needed to stock up on all kinds of things and Walmart was close and it’s easy to park the RV in their big lot. I found everything I needed, only got slightly cranky waiting 5 minutes to get ¼ lb of sliced turkey, and then I had a lovely exchange with my checkout person, Irene.
I said, “Where I come from, going to Walmart on a Saturday morning is crazy making.”
She asked, “where’s that?
“Phoenix,” I said.
“What are you doing here?”
“Traveling around in my RV.”
Her whole face lit up. “Just you?”
“And my dog.”
“Oh wow. That’s what I want to do. Just me.”
I said, “Well I’ve done it with someone, and now I’m doing it by myself. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to both. But so far, I’m loving it.”
“Oh. I know I just want to go by myself,” she said.
“Make a plan,” I said. “You can make it happen.”
And she believed me.
And I wanted to tell her about my book. And give her a copy. But I didn’t want to walk all the way back from where I had parked the RV to get it. And I didn’t even think to just give her a card.
But later, when I was sitting with Cody by the river, remembering the exchange, I thought how fun it would be to mail her a copy.
So I called Walmart, got her name and employee number and I just addressed the envelope.
This! This is such a fun way to share my book and my message. Last week I mailed a copy to the very friendly and helpful woman at the RV Park in Louisiana. She emailed me with such delight, that I had thought of her, that I sent her the book. She said she reviews books all the time and she will send me the link. Wow.
We never know how we will touch someone when we show up with a full and open heart. Even more surprising is how it opens up something in ourselves.