Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Stanley Hotel - A Ghost Story

It was a beautiful spring day and my friend was coming for a visit.  We decided to go to Estes Park for the weekend.  We talked as we drove up the mountain, he asked if this was where “The Shining” was filmed.  It was a glorious day - blue sky, beautiful scenery and a perfect way to begin our trip.

As we approached the overlook of Estes Park with the Rocky Mountains rising up in the background it was a spectacular sight.  We drove toward town and noticed a striking building on the hill.  Neither of us knew what it was, so we decided to investigate.  As we drove closer, we marveled at the perfectly manicured grounds and then saw the sign “The Stanley Hotel”.  We agreed that we had to see this but that it would be too expensive to stay there.
 
As we entered the property, the massive white gates opened to a large patio.  The lobby was beautifully decorated with leather chairs surrounding stone fireplaces, antique tables with fresh flowers brightened every corner, it was warm and inviting.  We inquired about the rates and were surprised they had a special price for the night, so we decided to stay.  After checking in, the desk clerk informed us that the hotel was haunted and that they had ghost tours in the basement after dark.  We thought it was amusing and a good tourist attraction but declined. 
 
As we climbed the stairs, we noticed the air changing, it became heavy and dense.  The brightness of the lobby faded as we walked toward our room.  We opened the door and immediately were struck with the closeness of the space.  Not only was it very small but there seemed to be no air circulating.  We decided immediately that this would not be comfortable and asked to change rooms.  They moved us to a large, beautifully appointed suite with a great view of the mountains. 
 
We enjoyed a luxurious meal at the restaurant and continued to marvel at the wonderful surroundings.  We planned on going into town later and do some sightseeing but never left the hotel.  Throughout the evening, several people approached me saying I looked like someone they knew.  When I went downstairs to the rest room, I felt a chill in the air.  The entire time I was there I felt as though I was being watched, it made me very uneasy and I hurried back to our table.  My friend laughed when I told him and reminded me about the ghost tours, it was funny and I quickly put it aside.   
 
It was getting late so we decided to go back up to the room.  As we talked, I felt a draft of cold air and looked to see where it was coming from.  I saw an apparition of a man step through one of the doorways and disappear.  Just then, my friend asked if someone was behind him.  Standing over his shoulder I could see the faint outline of a young girl.  We both were stunned, not sure what was happening.  Slowly we began to speak, this felt like a child’s spirit nothing malevolent or frightening.  Suddenly, the energy changed dramatically, the room filled with cold air and a bright light flashed across the room and splashed on the bureau mirror.  It felt as though dozens of very angry people were trying to get into the room. 
 
It was 2:00 a.m. and seemed strange to check out in the middle of the night but we could not stay.  We were relieved to see a friendly night clerk at the desk. She informed us that this was a regular occurrence and that she had seen some extraordinary things herself. We talked to her for some time and then she told me I looked very much like a woman who passed away many years ago.  We drove back down the mountain in silence; years later I still think about what we encountered in that strange and dark place.  I have never returned to the Stanley or to Estes Park.
 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Suitcase Closet Clearing - How to Organize your Closet

 No matter how often I clean out my closet, I always seem to accumulate more clothes than I ever need.  Some old, some new and most that I know I will never wear.  

Every time the season changes, I set a new goal of clearing out the excess but find myself in the same situation just a few months later. 

I have tried so many different techniques – trash or treasure, what I haven’t worn in 6 months and even turning the hangers in the opposite direction, all with no luck. 

Now, as we are heading into autumn, I would like to accomplish this once and for all.  So, I have decided to devise a new method.  One that I think will work for me. 

There have been several times when I have moved out of state and even out of the country for up to a year at a time.  During these trips I stay in hotels, B&Bs, holiday homes etc., all with very little to no storage.  

One apartment I rented had 2 very small dresser drawers and a tiny wardrobe for all of my belongings.  I was happy that I hadn’t packed too much or I would have spent the next 8 months living out of my suitcase. 

What I discovered is that, even for my longest trips, I didn’t need much more than what my largest suitcase would hold. 

After traveling for the past 20 years, I have become accustomed to packing very efficiently and as light as possible.  Now, it is time to put that experience to use, here at home. 

When I pack to go away, I usually take the same basic items and only what is absolutely necessary.  I do like to be comfortable and flexible for the conditions so I always take that into account. 

Everything in my wardrobe needs to fit properly, be easy to mix and match with the ability to layer for different climates.

If I think about clearing out my closet in the same way as I think about packing for a trip, it should help with some of those iffy items that I always end up keeping instead of getting rid of. 

I don’t ever take a pair of jeans that don’t fit on a trip when I know I will need to wear them.  So exactly why would I stash those back in my closet for later?

Part of this will require severing the emotional attachment I have to so many items.  I love the pattern or how I looked or what I was doing when I last wore it, are my typical excuses for keeping something that no longer suits me.  

Acknowledging that my life and my body have changed is an important first step.  That is why the packing mentality feels right for me.  It keeps me limited to what I actually love and can wear right now. 

I used to try to pack away seasonal items as the weather changed, but I live in Colorado and we can have 90-degree temperatures one day and snow the next, so it’s not practical.  I need a year-round wardrobe that I can keep ready anytime for home or away.

Aside from actual clothing items, I have amassed a tremendous collection of shoes and undergarments that rarely if ever get used.  Packing is a great way to minimize those things as well.  I wouldn’t think of taking 15 camisoles when I need one or two. 

I also, like to use pieces for more than one purpose to keep things light (most of my tank tops can be used to sleep in or under a blouse or sweater). 
 
I always begin my packing process by planning my itinerary – where will I be going, what are the weather conditions and what activities will I be doing.  For me, that usually involves a variety of situations – wet, dry, hot, cold, work, dinners, dances, dates, casual loungewear and outdoor activities. 

Next, I pull out the main items that I think I will want to wear for each of the scenarios.  Then I begin grouping by color and separate the tops from the bottoms, making sure all items in a color group match each other.  I usually stick to solid colors for bottoms (black, blue, brown) and add 3 - 4 print tops that go with each color bottom.

Usually, I eliminate anything that I don’t want or really doesn’t go with any of the others.  Since I’m doing this for home not travel, I will keep special one offs that I really love.

Then I add the shoes, sweaters, scarves, jackets and accessories for each group of outfits.  Looking at this all laid out really helps me to see what I have and how they go together. 

I don’t like having to choose from 20 individual pieces before I decide what to wear for the day.  Most of that comes from traveling for work and needing to keep my options simple and my luggage to a minimum.

The last step is to pack it in my suitcase.  Depending on how far you want to take this, you might decide to use several suitcases or containers for what you are keeping.

You can store the excess in boxes in case you have second thoughts about getting rid of it all. 

So, there it is, my new suitcase closet organizing system.  I’m getting started on it right away and see just how low I can go and free up my time and space from all of this physical and emotional clutter. 

Is decluttering and organizing a pleasure or a pain for you?  What methods have you used that work well for you?  I would love to hear your comments and whatever tips and tricks you may have to share with others.

Published 9/20/20 at Sixty and Me

Monday, September 21, 2020

Clarity

There is a change in my awareness, very subtle but undeniable.  

I barely have a thought that doesn't manifest in one form or another.

Big or small, it will appear in the most delightful and unexpected way.

I have always been reflective and philosophical, but now the view is so much clearer.

This is a beautiful time in my life and I appreciate every precious moment.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Life

I have proven to myself that I can be happy in any circumstance.  

That external conditions no longer dictate how I feel.

My life has been full of extremes and not only have I survived, I have thrived.

I appreciate this ever changing environment and the beautiful expansion of life.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Begin Again

Today I will start anew.  

Full of love and hope for a better tomorrow.  

A day that will bring justice and equality for all.  

A new beginning for a future we can all believe in. 

There is a lovely poem that sums up my feelings beautifully.

The Beginning – 
As I begin this journey of mine,
I will loosen my laces and remove my boots,
to protect me from absolutely nothing.
Crossing over into a world of color.
 - Michele Ledoux

Sunday, August 16, 2020

An Elvis Girl

It was 43 years ago that Elvis Presley passed away.  I was 21 and remember exactly where I was that day.  It felt surreal to know that he was really gone.  

Throughout my entire life I was surrounded by his music and people who adored him.  

One of my fondest memories growing up was pretending I was one of the girls in his movies - Kid Galahad, Follow that Dream or Blue Hawaii. 

I loved all the music and dancing and still to this day, whenever I hear one of those songs it makes me smile and remember a wonderful time in my life.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Discovering My Authentic Self

There are just a few months until my 65th birthday and official retirement from my 30 year career.  It has been a wonderful and satisfying time and now I am looking forward to what is next for me. 

As with so many people entering this new chapter, I am taking time to reflect on just what that means for me personally.  My children are grown with full-lives and beautiful families of their own and now it is time for me to focus on my life and what I want to do. 

What I am realizing is that, I need to reacquaint myself with who I really am.  Not who I've been, not who others wanted me to be, but the true authentic person that I have become.  Time to shed the superficial and really let my true nature shine.

I know she's in there, I can feel it when I see my grandchildren smile, or hear a song that makes me cry, or laugh out loud about something silly.  There is so much joy and passion waiting to be expressed and it's time that I finally let it out in the open. 

Life is supposed to be fun - that's a message I keep hearing and yet I wonder what does that mean for me?  What I've come up with so far is that it is something different for each one of us and changes at different stages of our lives.  What was fun in my twenties is not fun to me today.  There may be parts of it that still are interesting but in a new and very different way.

I am very fortunate in that, I don't have to do anything I don't want to do and I actually realize it!  So now, it is my mission to explore and discover what it is that I really do want.  Easier said than done, so I'm researching and trusting how I feel to find those things that fit.  There is a lot of wisdom to be gained if you follow your heart and let the rest go. 

I just finished reading "The Happiness Equation" by Neil Pasricha and I loved it.  I originally picked it up while I was traveling for work but put it aside when things got too busy.  Interesting that most of what he talks about in the book is how to create more space and not be too busy.  As with all lessons, you get what you need when you are ready for them.  When I read the last few chapters it occurred to me that this was just what I needed now, not a few months ago.

He offers 3 simple but very effective ways to find your authentic self.
1.  The Saturday Morning Test - What do you do on a Saturday morning when you have nothing to do?
2.  The Bench Test - How do you feel when you put yourself in a new situation?
3.  The Five People Test - Who are the five people closest to you in the things you love most?

I smiled as I read it because it is Saturday morning and what I am doing is reading and writing about a new situation.  It makes me happy just to type that.  That feels like confirmation that I am exactly where I need to be and that the universe will always surprise and delight me with the perfect message at the perfect time.

One of my all time favorite quotes is from Sarah Ban Breathnach - The authentic self is the soul made visible.

Here's wishing that we all find a way to let our beautiful soul be seen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Peace and Contemplation in the Pandemic

I know the pandemic has not been easy for many people and that they have many struggles to contend with.  I feel very fortunate that for me,  this has been a tremendous opportunity to reevaluate exactly what I want to do in the next chapter of my life.

I am in my sixties and have been semi-retired for the past couple of years.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to fully retire or continue working for a while longer.  The issue I was having is that I haven't enjoyed my job for a very long time.  I'm good at it and it was plentiful but very little of it was satisfying and almost all of it was stressful. 

Now, with an almost complete global shut-down, it has given me time to pause and to truly reflect on life.  I am a serious introvert so spending time alone does not bother me.  On the contrary, it is essential for me to maintain my balance.   I didn't realize just how much until we were told to stay in. 

It has been a relief not to be required to be anywhere.  I have had no issues getting food and supplies delivered to my home.  As a matter of fact, I will probably continue this long after this crisis has passed.  I don't like to shop and this has been such a great way to get everything I need.

My daughters have worried that I might become too much of a hermit, but it truly is my happy place.  I have so many projects that keep me busy so I am never bored and have enough interaction with my family and friends that I don't feel lonely.  Isolation is just not an issue for me.  If anything, it has given me a chance to catch my breath and take time just for me.

Now, with the world slowly reopening, I have to think about what I want to do going forward.  What I do know, is that whatever it is, it will have to be what makes me happy.  Nothing else will do!




Monday, May 25, 2020

More Joy and Satisfaction

  • Practice more deliberate intent before I act
  • Pay attention to how I feel
  • Appreciate all of the abundance I have right now
  • Trust the process and get ready for what’s next
  • Focus more on my heart’s desire and less on outside events
  • Remind myself that contrast does not need to be painful
  • Acknowledge all that is in the process of becoming
  • Look for thoughts that are in harmony with me
  • Have more fun

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Guest Bloggers Wanted

Do you have a fun or uplifting story to share?  Maybe just some lovely photographs of something beautiful.  If so, we would love to publish your work.  We look forward to hearing from you!
Guest Post Guidelines:
1.    All content and/or photographs must be original.
2.    Guest post should be non-commercial, with no product or           company promotion. 
3.    Submission topics should be inspiring and positive in nature.
4.    Please include a short bio and any website or social media           accounts for credit.
5.    Submissions should be 100 – 500 words in length.
6.    PFH retains editorial control of all content.
7.    Send submissions to -Lynn.Clare56@gmail.com



Friday, May 1, 2020

Precious Pennies From Heaven

This week was my mother's birthday.   She would have been 97 years old and I'm sure she would have been incredible at that age.

When I was growing up, she always taught me to trust in the universe. She would say "you will get pennies from heaven, just when you need them".

After she passed away, I started seeing pennies everywhere. There were always 2, even when something cost 99 cents, I would receive 2 pennies change.

I always felt like she was close to me in those moments and that it was her way of saying hello.  

Today, as I was moving out of my apartment, I was checking to make sure I didn't leave anything behind and what did I find but 2 pennies.  They were at the very back of an unused shelf and instantly I knew mom was with me.

What a beautiful and loving reminder of a lesson so long ago.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

What am I Attracting

I love when I hear a message in a way that I've never really heard it before.  I know it means something has changed and I have gained a new vantage point.

After studying the Law of Attraction for many years, I understand the concept of like attracts like, and that what we send out vibrationally will come back to us.

What felt new to me was the true sense of attracting what is coming into my experience.  That at this exact moment in time, what is showing up in my life is because of what I am thinking and feeling.

It's wonderful to think about manifesting your desires, creating your future and allowing the goodness we so desperately want, but none of that can happen if we aren't in a place to attract those very things.

It's not easy but it is very simple - if I can learn to focus my thoughts into a better feeling place, then there will be a better outcome in my circumstances.

I have to ask myself, what am I attracting?

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Magic in the New Year

I love new beginnings, so full of hope and promise.

Every step I take on this path has been perfect and always leads me to the next best place.

Today, I was inspired to open my magic box of treasures.  I don't remember how long ago I created this but it contains some of my fondest memories and most beautiful dreams.

As I looked through the precious contents, I realized just how many of these wishes have already come true and I feel tremendous gratitude and appreciation.

Now, looking forward to this brand new year, I will make more memories and cherish every one - knowing that they will become part of the magical treasure box that is my life.

Happy New Year!