Quote of the Month
"Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing." Theodore Roosevelt
The first thing I noticed about our neighbor at the RV park at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta was that she was alone. She did an admirable job of unhooking her trailer and leveling it by herself. Soon after we were set up for our four-day stay, I had an opportunity to introduce myself. That's when I noticed her smile, a confident, contented smile.
My curiosity turned to inspiration as I got to know more about this woman over the next few days. Nan, age 44, is an attorney. For six years, she worked for a big law firm in Houston. When she was downsized, she started her own law firm. After two years in a solo practice, she was lonely. That's when she decided to change her life.
Nan bought a 16-foot 2009 Shasta Airflyte Travel Trailer and found a half-ton truck to tow it. The Airflyte looks like a 1957 "Canned Ham" Trailer with curved edges and flat sides. She sold her house, closed most of her business and hit the road in June 2011. She's traveling with her 5-year-old, 12-pound terrier mix named Griff. Currently, she is telecommuting, doing contract work reviewing documents for another law firm in Houston, and working for a few of her small firm clients.
I asked her about the best part of her adventure. While she's been able to experience amazingly beautiful places like Colorado, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and New Mexico, the best part is the freedom she feels. She's not weighed down by anything.
While Nan still works alone, the RV lifestyle has given her ample opportunities to spend time with friends. She spent a month with her best friend in Seattle. Everywhere she goes, she meets new people doing interesting things. After extending her initial one-night stay to three at a campground featuring vintage trailers in Canyon City, Colorado, she cried when she had to leave her newfound friends.
If someone would have told her 5 years ago that she would be traveling the US in a trailer, she would have laughed. She never could have imagined giving up the big house, fancy car and impressive job. Once she made the decision, she knew she could do it, even though she'd never driven a truck, much less hitched anything to it. She doesn't know what the future holds, but she's confident things will work out.
Nan faced her fears and gained strength, courage and confidence through her travel adventures. Teddy Roosevelt would be proud.
Art of the Spark Workshop - October 22, 2011
Sometimes it takes courage and confidence -- plus a healthy dose of creativity and laughter -- to have romantic adventures with your sweetheart. If you'd like to explore new horizons in your relationship, consider attending an Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop. The next one open to the public is scheduled for Saturday, October 22. It explores love, romance, and fun for couples in committed relationships -- married, engaged, dating or partnered.
In this workshop, you'll learn how to:
- Build a foundation for romantic adventures
- Speak your sweetheart's Love Language
- Know when surprise is wise ... or ill advised
- Customize your own Couple's Playlist with six types of Couple's Play
- Plan romantic adventures ... on any budget
- Have a complaint-free relationship
- Present gifts -- large or small -- in memorable ways
Pilates Plus Colorado Studio is sponsoring this half-day Art of the Spark workshop (10:00 to 4:00). The cost is $99 for couples if paid by October 15, and $119 per couple after October 15. A copy of The Art of the Spark and an afternoon snack are included in the cost. The Pilates Plus Colorado Studio is located at 142 South Raven Mine Drive in Colorado Springs. Sign up at ArtOfTheSpark.com or call (719) 649-3201.
Kathleen Haden is the owner of Pilates Plus Colorado Studio. In addition to many outstanding fitness classes and massages, she offerers a session called Couples Float. For this hour-long candle-lit float, you wear swimsuits to experience total relaxation in the water. You can choose your favorite romantic songs to be played through underwater speakers while each of you is being floated by your own Aqua Motion practitioner. Aqua Motion sessions are offered in Colorado Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs in Colorado by appointment.
I recently took my own advice and booked a Couples Float for our anniversary as a surprise for Jim. Kathleen and her husband were our Aqua Motion practitioners. It was everything I'd hoped it would be: unique, refreshing and very relaxing.
I'll be speaking at the second annual SpiritWoman: A Journey of Love, Light and Laughter sponsored by The Center for Spiritual Living in Colorado Springs on October 15. This women's conference opens on Friday night with Rev. Jody Stevenson, Rev. Cynthia James and Lucy King, Certified Laughter Leader. I will be leading one of six breakout sessions on Saturday. Three sessions will run concurrently in the morning and three in the afternoon. Conference tuition is $155 ($135 if registered by October 2), and includes Friday evening soup and salad dinner and Saturday lunch. SpiritWoman will be held at The Center for Spiritual Living, 3685 Jeannine Drive in Colorado Springs.
Schedule Your Own Art of the Spark Workshop
It's easy to host your own Art of the Spark workshop tailored to your needs. When a church or non-profit sponsors the event, twenty percent of proceeds will be donated to that organization.
For more information go to http://adventuresoftheheart.com/workshops_411.html.
Rave reviews from past participants
"I was deeply touched by the things that happened that afternoon. My husband, who has always been a great husband but never particularly demonstrative, totally blew my socks off... He's been so warm and considerate since that afternoon -- I'm just elated!"
— Linda Lauck
"On a scale of 1 to 10, the workshop was an 11. It was filled with substance and depth, yet still playful and easy." — Ronna Vigil
"It really opened up my mind to things I have never thought of before." — Les Simpson
"LOVED YOUR WORKSHOP!!!! Thank you for bringing an extra spark to our relationship. I know the next 10 years are going to be that much more amazing!!" — Noelle Arbon
"I not only endorse and recommend this class, but feel that Mary has put a creative and fun approach to a subject we sometimes take for granted in this fast-paced world of ours." —John Daugherty, Doctor of Chiropractic
"The course brought together many new ideas and all the things that have worked for us but were forgotten." —Tom Saponas
Buy The Art of the Spark
Have you read The Art of the Spark? You can get one for yourself, or buy copies as gifts for friends.
If you are hosting a party and want a fun and unusual icebreaker, try Romance Bingo.
Food for Celebration
One of this month's recipes brings back a funny memory. I had begun teaching at the University of Colorado after getting bachelor's and master's degrees there. I was excited to be invited to the faculty pot luck Christmas party for the first time. I made Cheese Krispies. As soon as I arrived, I remembered I'd left the last batch in the oven. Much to my disappointment, I had to leave immediately. I rushed home, set the burnt Cheese Krispies on the counter and turned off the oven. I left right away for another engagement. When Jim arrived home, he saw the "dark chocolate" cookies and popped one in his mouth. He said they were the nastiest things he'd ever tasted.
If you don't burn them, they are quite tasty -- honest!
Before I quit eating wheat for health reasons, I used to make Cheese Krispies. When I tasted gluten-free Rice Krispies, I decided to make these savory, slightly spicy, cracker-like treats again. They are great as an appetizer with a glass of wine.
Orange-Glazed Carrots with Mint
When my sister-in-law Linda gave me fresh mint from her garden, I used it in this carrot dish.
Warm Spinach Salad with Chicken
This colorful, nutritious salad is hearty enough for a full meal.
Until Next Time
If you enjoyed this free newsletter, please forward it to friends. I care about people and how they celebrate. If you have any stories you'd like to share, please send them to me at email@example.com.
Wishing your a life of romantic adventure,
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