Tag Archives: travel

Something New – Part 7

“The challenge of the Silver Gate is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them. Many cultures of the world have traditional practices to accomplish this.” Angeles Arrien
I am intrigued by an Ancient European custom cited in this section that is still practiced in some areas of the world. The challenge is to do something never before tried each month. The custom is to do it on one’s birthdate, but I will play fast and loose with that.
* * *
This month’s challenge was the most enlightening for me. It involved struggle rather than enjoyment. Self-examination rather than adding a layer of sophistication or skill.
I went on one of my “spotting” trips this month. One of those lovely times when I am able to join someone I love to share an experience. I started this many years ago as my family began to spread and travel. I wanted to be able to see them, to visualize them in place when they came to mind.
I have taken trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights. I have driven to college dorms, flown to many cities and states, made quick visits, long sojourns, and everything in between. And it has all been good.
Being a frugal traveler I have learned to work with the system. I can book flights, find cut-rate hotels, and suss out the best car deal across the U. S. And I have a way of using every resource available.
Early in the month I left the West Coast on a Saturday afternoon and landed in Orlando, Florida to pick up a rental car and drive for over an hour to the town where one of my college grandsons is doing a research internship. Even though it was still early on my time, I was worn out from travel as I stood in line at the rental counter.
“Do you want insurance?”
“I believe I already paid for that.”
“But do you want extra?”
“No”
Blah, blah, blah…
“How about gas? Do you want to pay in advance?”
Wearily, I looked at him with the pen poised. Did I want to prepay for gas? I had NEVER in my life left anything on the table for a rental agency. I wasn’t sure how much driving I would do. I wasn’t going that far, was I?
“Yes, I’ll prepay!”
What????
Thus ended my personal hell at the counter and began my personal hell in my mind. As I drove, I watched for the gas gauge to fall. I had (of course) rented a compact. How much gas did it even use? What if I only used a quarter of a tank? What had I done.
My grandson and I laughed ruefully over my dilemma. He knows me. He understood – in a way.
I found myself going against all I believe in ecologically, leaving the car running as I waited in the parking lot of his University. Sure it was hot, but I would not normally sit in a car with the air-conditioner running when I could get out and sit under a tree. Was I willing to sacrifice my principals to use $15 worth of gas rather than leave some in the tank?
Really?
I spent a lot of my alone time in self-examination. What was really at the base of my discomfort? I knew why I had agreed to prepay. I was exhausted and facing an unknown drive as well as a late evening return on the night before my flight. I had no idea of the surrounds of the Orlando airport or where I would gas up when I returned the car. I could predict my anxiety as I faced my car return deadline. What was the perfect point at which to gas up? What would my timing be like if I spent every squeezed the joy from each spare moment my grandson could spare me?
I had to face my issue. It was a matter of self-worth. Which was more important (since I could well afford it) – saving a few dollars or making this quick trip across the country an enjoyable time with the least stress possible?
It took a lot of self-talk to convince myself that my first instinct was the right one. Yes, it was an enlightening challenge this month.
The Student

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, The Challenge, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate

Something New – Part 4

“The challenge of the Silver Gate is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them. Many cultures of the world have traditional practices to accomplish this.” Angeles Arrien
I am intrigued by an Ancient European custom cited in this section that is still practiced in some areas of the world. The challenge is to do something never before tried each month. The custom is to do it on one’s birthdate, but I will play fast and loose with that.
* * *
It seems to me that if something has been on my calendar (moving forward month by month) for several years…it may be time. If not now, when?
And so…off to New York City for an Enneagram workshop. With fear (because I’m not sure if I know enough to even begin). With trepidation (because I am sure that of all the people attending the workshop I will be the least prepared).
With excitement (because I am attending a workshop on a study that fascinates me and has become a part of my life.).
The point is to  be doing new things that stretch me. Right?
Okay, then. I went going to New York alone for five days. That was a first.
The shuttle from the airport was a long wait so I decided to take the bus and the metro. There’s another new experience in NYC. It was a testimony to the kindness of people who helped me get off bus at the right stop in Harlem. And I was beyond grateful to the young man who carried my suitcase up the last flight of stairs from the metro.
I rented an Air B&B in an area that is familiar to me, but as I learned last month, the situation is always a bit of a crapshoot.  I could have stayed in my normal hotel but my digs were cheaper and included (I hoped) a real kitchen and room to lounge about in a homey setting. And as it turned out, it was lovely.
I went to two plays and one opera. In my blessed life I have been to many broadway plays and many live operas – but never alone. And I found that I enjoyed the productions just as much being solo, but I really missed the shared experience of discussing the high points.
And the workshop? Spectacular!
If you have the chance to study with either Russ Hudson or Tom Condon, just do it. I threw myself into it wholeheartedly and reaped wonderful rewards. I met great people who helped me on the journey of learning about myself.
Life Student

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, The Challenge, The Enneagram, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate

What’s it all about?

Reflection:

“What generates meaning, hope, inspiration, and curiosity for you?” Angeles Arrien

This question has had me pondering for a couple of weeks.

Perhaps it is curiosity? Perhaps it is hope? I can’t really figure out why this has me so stumped. Rather than bounce in and out of the contemplation any longer, I have decided that I will begin writing and believe that the answers will come.

Connection, travel, and learning. These are the things that come to me and they are all interrelated.

Connection is the key to everything in my life. I constantly search for it – perhaps to my own distraction. For instance, in conversations, I have no interest in casual interactions. My intensity in going to the heart of any matter is sometimes frightening, I think. I can scatter a group at a cocktail party immediately. LOL.

Connection is also the key that opens my life to travel. I am not a seeker of new sights. But I am fascinated by cultures the way people move through life in places that are strange to me.  I love the feeling of oneness when I meet people in other countries. How they live their lives might be different in some ways but there is always a common thread of hopes, dreams, feelings, issues…

Learning is an underlying theme in everything I do.

When I was younger and in business I could always re-energize myself from burnout by learning something new. I am still fascinated by new information – but now I am tending to my spiritual path and so most new things involve insight into that practice. Of course, languages are a part of my ongoing learning because of my travels. And learning to connect with my own purpose and joy is always a part of my day.

Yes. Writing helps me process this. I feel as if I have done justice to this reflection.

Life Student

 

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, Reflections, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate