Dolphins in Captivity

It was with a heavy heart that I paid for this excursion. It was even harder when I saw how small the area was where they were performing, afraid that that small space was all they had to swim in.

All I could think of was how could this incredibly intelligent creature be used in such a way that felt like they were circus performers as I watched & took these vids. It hurt my heart.

There was a girl from who Paris who felt the exact same way & we took the guy aside at the end for a little chit chat.

Our first question was, almost in unison: ‘Are they happy?’

His response was that they don’t breed if they’re unhappy; someone else told me to look at their fins – were they curved to one side or pointing straight up? Apparently curved = bad; straight up = good. Both of which I’ll look into when I can. In this case all the fins I saw were straight up. I saw two babies – just born last week – just 7 days old! So they are definitely breeding.

Apparently the life span of a dolphin in the wild is about 35 years whereas in captivity they live till they’re 50 or 60, & the oldest dolphins in the world are in their mid 60’s & in the US. They eat like kings and are given all their vitamins and do not withhold food or punish them to train them. [Anymore]

I wonder .. what’s going on with SeaWorld these days .. I’ll have to look into that when I get back.

Advertisements

Barbuda Needs Help To Rebuild

I just watched a special on Antigua & its’ almost completely destroyed sister island Barbuda on CGTN (China Global TV) & their efforts to rebuild in the past year.

I visited Antigua in April during the Antigua Sailing Week 2018 Regatta & fell in love with the country & the people. Jolly Harbor, English Harbor, the lookout at Shirley’s Point, those incredible steel drums, the sunsets, the yachts, the sailors – one of the best vacation experiences ever 🤗

[Important to note, I flew Sunwing – an incredibly amazing Canadian airline which I use 99 % of the time & have NEVER encountered a single issue.]

A big thank you to those who are helping Barbuda – Samaritan’s Purse, China, the UN, Canada, even Cuba .. .. CUBA ffs! helped Barbuda; but no mention of anything from the United States. Do they only stick their noses in other countries when they want to destroy them? {Oh wait – didn’t they try to help Haiti after their hurricane through the nefarious Clinton Foundation but barely saw a dime? Haiti is most definitely NOT fans of the CCC – the Corrupt Clinton Cartel. But I digress ..}

Everybody has the right to live in peace with the basic comforts & necessities of life. It breaks my heart to see good people suffer.

All my love to the people of Barbuda, & Antigua 💖 I will do my part to bring awareness to the situation.

Also important to note Dominica & Saint Maarten & all other beautiful Caribbean islands that could use our help rebuilding their economy.

As I am always reminded everytime I visit Cuba – a country with next to nothing but always smiling & happy – cuz they know what’s important in life.

Every time I come to Cuba (this is my 7th visit) I’m disappointed & ashamed about North America – we have so much & appreciate so little, as we take all we have for granted with our backwards values & principles.

If your 10th Ferrari doesn’t make you happy, your 11th won’t either.

We live in a fucked up world of profit over people & that is not OK.

The Bar & Restaurant Industry (Pt 1): Young & Starstruck

“Anyone interested in eating in a restaurant should be required to work in one first.” One can really only truly understand this if they work in the industry.

Oh the things we see, hear, & do in bars & restaurants! May 2017 marked my 20yr anniversary & it’s been a helluva ride. An accurate description of me on the job would be something my friend Heidi’s sister said to me one night about 15yrs ago that I’ll never forget:

‘Karin, I’ve been watching you tonight, you have this incredible gift of making every single person feel like the most important person in the room!’

Right on! I’ve always quoted Confucius when explaining my passion: ‘When you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life!’ It’s nice to be appreciated when you’re doing something you love – I seemed to excel at the lost art of customer service.

Confuscious.jpg

I spent the first 7yrs as a bartender, landing my first job with none other than Club Med. I talk about the importance & necessity of travel & experiences rather than acquiring stuff in my blog To Spend or Not To Spend: Experiences vs. Things. With only my bartending certificate in hand & zero actual experience, I stepped behind the bar for the first time in Eleuthera, Bahamas for my first contract, then moving onto Provo, Turks & Caicos for my next.

What a year – a very drunken one. I was once given a gold pendant from a guest, right off their very own neck, that said ‘Party Animal,’ as they stated “I’ve never seen anyone party like you!” After that whole Mexico fiasco (The Importance of Finding Yourself) & regrettably back in Montreal, I worked at a variety of places, trying to gain as much experience in as many areas as I could, sure one day I’d eventually be running my own place.

From the St. Laurent nightclubs with the barely there dresses, making sure to guard my buns from the sleezy bosses with the grabby hands always trying to make a move; to the pool halls scattered with drug dealers, men in suits & tattooed bikers, thankful for the bouncer breaking up any scuffles; to pubs like the Peel Pub (Montreal’s most popular party place & watering hole) with really cheap beer & dollar shot specials – me navigating my way through the obstacle course of drunken patrons with my tray overflowing with shots in my one hand, high above my head & 5 pitchers of beer in the other. What that place (& the people in it) looked like at 3am when the lights came on I dare not say.

There was the summer season spent on a river cruise ship out of the Old Port of Montreal. We’d cruise on the St. Lawrence, me getting a kick out of ‘standing still’ bartending, but constantly tilting left or the right as the boat did. (Sounds silly now, but that was my first time working on a boat.) We had Molson boat parties on Friday nights, setting sail at midnight til 3am, with people at the bar four rows deep, so thirsty we were unable to get them their drinks fast enough. I did many a banquet, wedding & private party, sometimes through friends but mostly through catering companies. The coolest place I ever worked was this millionaire’s underground bunker/loft.

Was that place ever something!

You walked in & the first thing that greeted you was a Ducati motorcycle & an F1 car. To the left there was a big lounge area, with sofas & hightops, just like a bar. In the middle was a huge kitchen, with an island/countertop at least 20ft long. There was a wine cellar housing hundreds of bottles of the finest wines. In the back, there was a poker room, with a built-in black leather poker table, with drink holders & surrounding round red & black leather couch; behind that room, a gorgeous rectangular marble hot tub that could fit at least 8 & next to that a marble Roman-type shower that could probably fit close to a dozen. I heard rumors about the wild after-parties that took place there after our shift ended.

But after the trauma of 2004, everything changed. 2:43am: “I Hope My Murder Wakes My Neighbors.”

I couldn’t bartend anymore. I couldn’t stand being another lonely man’s eye candy, making conversation while he ogled my breasts. Rule #1 in the bars: “Don’t ever tell clients you have a boyfriend / girlfriend. You’re single, got it? ‘Gotta ‘Sell the Dream!'” Rule #2 was: ‘Don’t ever refuse a shot from a client! You lose 2 sales, yours & his!’

.. as long as they weren’t trying to make us into sleazes or alcoholics ..

I was no longer interested in selling the dream. I had just lived a nightmare. And with that I started to do the job I swore I’d never do: Server. I used to always say, ‘Screw servers, they’re servants, just running around in circles all night.’ I thought I was better than them, thought I was hot shit. Bartenders can be a cocky bunch – I was no exception. ‘I don’t run around. I stay right here; they can come to me.’

Not to mention bartenders make more money. But then there’s all that goes with it – that damned inventory, that damned restocking of the fridge, the damned balancing of your cash – while you’re somewhere between tipsy, drunk & hammered. Having dinner at 4am. Getting home when the sun came up. Sleeping all day. Rinse, repeat.

My favorite (albeit cockiest) memory of bartending was at Club Med Turkoise, Turks & Caicos. One night reception raced over to our dinner table to let us know they were expecting the arrival of a Calvin Klein model any minute. I’ve never seen a group of women jump up from a table & flock to the bathroom mirrors so fast. With the start of my shift fast approaching, I hurriedly took my place behind the bar, knowing that’d be the first place they’d hit upon arriving. “Who is it, who is it?’ is all we could think of.

Doesn’t Antonio Sabato, Jr. (famously known as Jagger on General Hospital) walk up with his cousin Joe, a nightclub owner in Miami!

I gave them a ‘Hey,’ as casually as I could, & asked them what they’d like to drink. “Make us something good,” Joe says. (In Montreal my friends & I concocted a drink that became so popular they began selling it at our favorite hangout, Cheers. We named it after a popular movie at the time,”Twister.” Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, orange juice, 7up, & a splash of grenadine.)

“This is really good. You know what you can hang with us,” Joe says. To which I replied, “Oh no you can hang with me.” Cocky? Fuck yeah. But it worked.

Next thing I know I spent the entire week hanging with Antonio, sometimes his cousin Joe, I met his sister & some other family/entourage members. I had dinner with them in the restaurant after it closed to the guests, so he wouldn’t be disturbed & we could eat in peace. We took dips in the pool, chatting away, & some days I lay on the beach next to him suntanning, opening my eyes & sneaking a peek every once in awhile in disbelief, trying to memorize his tattoos & I guess his body in general loll I was after all, just 26, & it was the first time I’d ever hung out with someone so famous, & so damn beautiful! (That was back when I was young & foolish & stupidly focused only on outer beauty.)

Some afternoons we played a few games of pool at the table by the bar, with the occasional coworker walking by mouthing ‘Oh my God,’ ‘What the fuck’ & other ‘niceties,’ visibly annoyed. Perhaps they thought I had ‘snagged’ him; but no, there was no snagging. We just hung out like buddies cuz I treated him like a normal person. Secretly I was swooning on the inside; of course I washe was kind, beautiful, friendly, respectful, funny & did I mention drop dead gorgeous?

But looking back now, I’m happy with my memory, just as it is 😉 It was a week I’ll never forget.

You have no idea who I am, but thanks for the memories Antonio xo


LoveInfusion

Your Help is Needed 

Back from a phenomenal week in the absolutely gorgeous Antigua. Preparing a series of blogs of our adventures 😉

For starters, I was happy to see this when I arrived. Human trafficking is no joke – it’s very real & is happening every day. 

I’d like to see this in every airport & country. The victims need to know help is available & that people care; & the general public needs to up their awareness & help if they can. 

What if it was your child? 

Be aware, observe 👀

16 Ways to Take Action Against Human Trafficking

Antigua Sailing Week 2018 Festivities

Seems I booked my trip during some pretty exciting festivities that I really hope to partake in! It just so happens that it’s Antigua Sailing Week 2018!

AntiguaSailingWeek2018.jpg

50th Antigua Sailing week 2017
Past winners of the Lord Nelson Trophy return for the 2018 edition of Antigua Sailing Week & include Sir Hugh Bailey’s Team Rebel © Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com

Internationally acclaimed reggae artist, Tarrus Riley is headlining Reggae in the Park.

ReggaeInTheParkAntigua

And every race morning at 9am, join Chase the Race with Wadadli Cats & enjoy a full day of chasing the race, sailing & partying beach side with all inclusive food and drinks!

ChaseTheRaceAntigua

Decisions, decisions!


 

Antigua: A True Caribbean Paradise ☮️

Calgon, please take me away. Five more days. Almost here 😉

🕉💞☮️ 🌅Finally🌅 ☮️💞🕉

English Harbour, Antigua

It’s time. And after one of the longest, most brutal winters I’ve lived through a really long time. Don’t I say ‘it was a brutal winter’ every winter though? It’s true, I cry inside each year from December to March. I remember the crazy winters growing up, the snow so high we couldn’t leave through the front door of our house & so cold we were skating on the iced-over streets! This one was one for the books though – we’ve been buried under snow since early December, with the -15’s hitting us from the get go. Blizzard after blizzard, with no relief – with one even announced this week – in the middle of April.

AntiguaMountains

💘 I’ve been in love with the Caribbean since the first day my toes hit that sand.

And I’ve never felt more at home anywhere else. 

AntiguaBeach

I’m completely mesmerized by Antigua. I cannot believe how gorgeous it is. It’s exactly how I’d picture a perfect paradise had I never seen one. And it’s gonna blow every other trip I’ve ever had right outta that turquoise oh so green water 😉

I’m not a ‘world traveler’ per se – I do travel as often as I can – I’ve pretty much just been rotating between 3 countries:

  • Cuba (Cayo Coco x 3, Cayo Guillermo x 2, Cayo Ensenachos)
  • Mexico (Cancun, Mayan Riviera, Tulum, Xel-Ha)
  • Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata, Sosua, Punta Cana x 4)

I even lived in the Caribbean for a year (during Montreal’s infamous ice storm in ’98!):

  • Eleuthera, Bahamas (Club Med bartender)
  • Providenciales (Provo), Turks & Caicos (Club Med bartender)

Happy to be ‘expanding my horizons’ this time around – a new experience helps the Soul grow 😉

 


To everyone, I say = TRAVEL!! It’s good for the Soul!


 

Wanderlust

 

 

The First Time I Noticed the Universe Might be Conspiring to Help Me

In my mid-twenties I started to wake up, & at 26, I got my dream job: bartending for Club Med in the Caribbean. Yeah baby! In May of 1997 I was off to Eleuthera, Bahamas for a 6 month contract – never having set a foot behind a bar. After 4 years of schlepping for a boring accounting firm, I had taken my bartending course at the ‘Master School of Bartending’ in Montreal.

Before I left, a friend lent me a book she thought I might like: “The Celestine Prophecy”:

TheCelestineProphecy

 

“A compelling story of intrigue, suspense, & revelation, The Celestine Prophecy begins when an ancient manuscript is found amid ruins deep in the Peruvian jungle. Revealing nine key insights that are critical to the evolution of the human race, it contains secrets that are changing the world, & reveals how to make connections to events happening in listeners’ lives right now. The Celestine Prophecy comes to light at a time when the world deeply needs to hear its words.”

 

Barely 1/3 through before leaving, the main thing I took away from the book at that point: there is no such thing as coincidences. And the next thing you know I was off. And with about a million & a half things on my to-do list, I unknowingly left the book behind. After settling in quickly & learning the ropes, I really made myself at home. My first Club Med village was a family one, so we worked less hours then at the singles villages (like my next one, Turkoise – Providenciales, Turks & Caicos), so I had an easy day shift, 8am-4pm, with my nights free. The G.O.’s had a cool bar hangout off the resort, & there was a shuttle at 3am that brought us back to the club.

The book was a far distant memory at this point.

One night, after several drinks, mingling & dancing til the wee hours, I stumbled onto the shuttle bus that would take me back to get some sleep. After disembarking at the lobby I made by way towards my room, passing by the pool to dip my toes in. I walked past some lounge chairs, & in my path, right there in my path, the only one I could take, as it was sandwiched between the lounge chairs & the pool in a space maybe 2 feet wide, I stopped in my tracks. Right in front of me on the ground – where I’d hafta step on it or over it to get by, laid the book. The Celestine Prophecy. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I looked around, to see if anyone was perhaps passed out in a chair, having forgotten it. But alas, I was alone, there wasn’t a soul in sight. It was as though the Universe left it there for me, so I scooped it up & brought it to my room. I wound up finishing it quickly, knowing I was supposed to. And so began my journey of enlightenment.

CelestineProphecyAwakening

There is NO such thing as coincidences. I’m convinced.

And looking at how far my awakening has come since then, I know for a fact I was meant to read that book. And the rest is history! The signs are everywhere if you pay attention 😉

universeblog2.jpg

I talk about the importance of enjoying life through experiences rather than the accumulation of things in my previous blog:

‘To Spend or Not To Spend: Experiences vs. Things’



 

 

 

Cayo Coco,Cuba 2012: A Brush with Hurricane Sandy 

Rise/Set is the last Weekly Photo Challenge for the month of March. I chose this August 2012 pic from Cuba, the view from my room, which wound up being during Hurricane Sandy.

SunriseCuba2012
“Room with a View!” Cayo Coco, Cuba, August 2012

After a 14 year ‘involuntary’ Caribbean hiatus, I was back on track: I had a wonderful two week solo trip booked for the last 2 weeks of August in 2012. Those 14 years were half filled with me getting pummeled by life & the other half spent wondering, ‘WTF just happened?’ This is the time I refer to as the ‘eye of the tornado’ in my hell. After three back-to-back traumas in a 6 year span, I spent a lot of time digging myself out of hellholes. I handled ‘starting over’ like a pro. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve recreated myself & my life. Every single day is a chance to start anew 😉

BeachTherapy


About halfway through my vacay we got the severe weather warnings & it didn’t take long for the weather to change: starting with very heavy rain as the angry clouds rolled in, with winds that were really fierce. We were told the next day or two would be pretty rough. They slipped notices under our doors, advising us to pack a small bag with essentials including passports, just in case; but it was preferable we stay in our rooms for our safety.

I figured I should probably get my drink on ..

The next day I woke up to quite the storm. I could hear the wind howling outside. I went to my window & noticed it was raining sideways. Looking for the path of least resistance – or the least drenching – I took the giant room umbrella with me & started heading over to the buffet for lunch. But the wind was so strong! Knowing the umbrella would never retain it’s shape – & my refusal to struggle with it – I returned it to my room & grabbed a beach towel to hide under instead. The palms were getting blown with such a force I thought they’d rip right out of the ground.

67331_vintage_39

After lunch they did not open up the bars; & much to my chagrin I soon learned that alcohol would not be served at any of the resort’s bars. Seems they wanted people to keep their wits about them. So much for that idea .. Initially I wasn’t too worried – having never experiencing a hurricane before, I didn’t realize how bad it could get – but I soon learned many others were. I spent the afternoon & early evening in my room, watching tv & trying to wait out the torrential downpour. You know, so the bars, where all the liquor is, would be functional enough to get me to a non functional enough state 😉 

CatHurricane

Soon I heard a lot of hustle & bustle outside my room – hurried voices laced with panic. Then came several knocks from neighbors with similar requests: ‘Do you have any tape so I can tape up my windows?’ Um, sorry no. Did not think to pack that, no. I looked out from my balcony & sure enough, saw the big tape ‘X’s’ on people’s room windows. That’s when my anxiety cranked up a notch. ‘Surely they’re exaggerating!’ I thought. But it was still raining sideways. A tad nervous, I got in touch with some friends on the mainland, in Morónwho promised to come hang if things got too rough. But alas, the little two lane road, the pedraplén, from the mainland to the keys (Cayos) was unsafe to use & was closed; no one allowed in or out: 

El Pedraplén, Cuba: To drive along a pedraplén (causeway) is an incredible experience, especially the longest one in the world, going from Caibarién to Santa María CayCuba, about 48 kilometers long & feels as if driving over the sea. When the sea is calm there are no waves & the sky is mirrored on the water’s surface, giving the impression that the horizon has disappeared & that you’re driving across a flat world.

PedraplenCuba.png

The rain of course brought plenty of mosquitos – way more than usual; & they ravaged me like never before. It was so bad that people kept approaching me with looks of concern, asking if I was ok. I looked like I had a sudden, major chicken pox outbreak. I had bites everywhere. Thankfully some vacationers took pity on me – they’d never seen anyone bitten so bad apparently – & gave me their stash of benadryl. So by 8pm that night, unable to meet up with my friends, or get drunk, I figured my best bet was to try to sleep through it; I decided to pop a couple of those benadryl & crash.

I didn’t know if I was gonna die that night, but I sure as hell didn’t wanna feel it if I did  .. 

I survived – we all did – there were no serious issues aside from the early onset panic. And tons & tons of sideways rain. All we got was really, really soaked.

I’ve definitely been paying much closer attention to those hurricane forecasts ever since. I was lucky – but as we see with many a hurricane aftermath, many aren’t so lucky. I guess I thought Cuba, at 110,860 sq km (42,803 sq mi), would be safer than the smaller islands like Dominica & St. Maarten that got pummeled with Harvey last year:

  • It is now being estimated that the total amount of economic damage caused by Hurricane Harvey will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 190 billion dollars.

So I guess the moral of this story is ‘Be Smart, Don’t be Stupid’ & ‘Don’t Mess with Mother Nature.’ I hardly suggest living in fear of what might happen, as that’s not living.

But putting yourself in the path of a major hurricane during hurricane season is probably not the wisest choice. I’ll never forget that Wind – this incredible force that cannot be seen, touched, or put into a box – can surge up to 250km for a Cat 5.

It’ll tear the roof right off your house like it was made of flimsy little paper plates.

I always say Love is the most powerful force in the Universe, but Mama Nature’s got some pretty powerful forces as well. Be Smart. Don’t be Stupid 😉

 


BELIEVE


BreatheInLove


 

~The Importance of Finding Yourself~

First blog post:

I often daydream about the state of the planet, & all the people; the world, the Universe, the other Universes, worlds & beyond, that I just know exist. I have a message for all those who are struggling & suffering. I wish I could pause time & say: “Hey, hold on a minute! Stop what you’re doing for a sec & just BE.”

I always thought once I’m better I’ll be able to start helping others, because I know I can – I’ve been through so many terrible things & come out the other side shining. I keep waiting & waiting & waiting for that day, the day I go back to ‘normal’, the day I’m not afraid, or stressed.

Where is that day? Is it coming soon? I wondered, what if it never comes, what if this is it? The rest of my days living in ‘survival mode’, just doing what I have to do to survive, just the basics, that’s it. Just passing time. Is that what I want? Is that gonna be good enough? It’s safe, that’s for sure, & I like safe. But I’m restless now.
It’s time to wipe the slate clean. I know I have a purpose here & it’s time I put the past behind me, once & for all, & move forward. I need to put it out there so that it can help others, and myself. This is the last piece of the puzzle that will heal me. That elusive corner piece. I’ve connected with a bunch of great new people, spiritual people, people who are like what I’m becoming. People that have woken up.

I’m so blessed to connect to these beautiful souls, & I need to start walking the talk.
Even I can’t believe how much I’ve changed. I look back at my life pre-27 yrs, & what a wild one I was. No fear, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, adventure seeking party animal. I used to say, some ppl are here to be doctors, lawyers, but me, I’m just here to party. I never worried about a thing. Oh how I miss that girl …. sort of.
You see, I didn’t have the wisdom I have now. I didn’t really appreciate things, took ’em for granted; I was lost. I was searching for something, I didn’t know it then but it was myself.

4c061658630dcb93c9a948b9b779b6a7


At 30 I really started figuring some things out. I always knew, ever since I was a kid, that there was something more out there. In grade school, I read those ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books, there were 5 that fascinated me, looking back now, I felt pulled to them – one about the Mayans, one about the Incas, & one about the Aztecs, one about UFO’s & one about Atlantis. There was something so familiar about them. Ancient wisdom! At 31, a friend gave me a book he thought I needed: “The Mastery of Love” by don Miguel Ruiz. Ever jump up & down while reading a book because you’re beyond excited to be reading your own thoughts & feelings?

That was more than a ‘lightbulb moment’, it was a 100 flash-bang grenades moment! I was at a very low point of despair at that time, a few more months in the situation I was in would have killed me. Everything really does happen for a reason & at the right time.

trust

At that time, I was in the ‘bad 6 yr span’; it was after the first traumatic experience, during the second but before the 3rd. 3 terrible traumas, in a 6 yr span – one every 2 yrs. I didn’t sleep for a whole year! Saw a shink, tried some meds, made me worse (surprise surprise!), stopped them, then saw a psych, took self-defense classes & got an alarm system in my 3 1/2. Still didn’t feel safe .. there are some really sick people out there. Those who do harm to others physically or mentally .. I want to say I hate them .. but I know they are just lost.

ONLY HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE. I want to get back to the carefree girl, or I should say move forward into a wise carefree girl.

I constantly ‘come back down’ to 3d to hang with my non-spiritual friends, but I don’t like it down there; don’t like the lower energies, but I spend time there, passing time & not living. The drama, the gossip, the egos, all the stuff that doesn’t serve you – it’s nonsense, static. I’ve been growing spiritually at such an accelerated rate over the years … but I’m not living in it full time. I’m still somewhat of a mess inside. I’ve been trying to get closure on all 3 traumas, to no avail, so never really let it go. People talk about forgiveness. And I’m stuck there. I can’t forgive any of the people who did those things because I’m still waiting for my justice. How can I forgive someone who doesn’t realize they did something wrong.

I can’t seem to.
That’s where my vacation comes in. It’s going to be a transformation & a half. I know it’s the doorway, the StarGate, if you will, that will transform me.

moneyblog3

I’ve been having a reoccurring dream for about, oh, ten yrs now. Always on vacation, but I realize it’s my last day & I have to leave, but I forgot to go to the beach, forgot to take pics! As if that would happen!! I interpret that as my soul/spirit wanting/trying to go home/Caribbean … & I’m not allowed to even get a taste in my dreams !! Now that I finally am sane enough & making decent money, I’ve decided to take this trip in August. 14 yrs since I stepped on a beach, or in the ocean. It was never even close to feasible in the past decade. That’s CRAZY for me! I fell head over heels in love with the islands the moment I stepped off the plane. I remember when I got the Club Med job, how ecstatic I was !!! A dream come true. I had only taken my bartending course (after seeing Tom Cruise in ‘Cocktail’ – I was like, ‘Wow, ppl do that ??’)

I elaborate on that in this post: “To Spend or Not To Spend: Experiences vs. Things”

I instantly knew that’s what I was going to do. And I did 😊 I told all my buds I’m leaving Canada for good. I arrived in Eleuthera, Bahamas in 97, having never worked behind a bar. I told that to the local barmen when I got there. His answer? “No matter, you’re in the Bahamas now!!” Nice 😎

tb
Down by the bay, Rum shop stop: 3 bottles for about $15US

After 1 year, it all went to shit. By my own doing. I know now it just wasn’t the right time for that for me – I hadn’t learned all the lessons I needed yet. I was still a party animal, drinking to excess, trying to escape myself. I didn’t know it then, but I see it now. I didn’t appreciate where I was, what I had, nothing. I drank myself right out of my Turkoise job, leaving a few weeks before my contract ended. Traveled some, went to the DR, to Miami, then did an eenie-meenie-minie-moe at the aeropuerto and went to Cancun. We bought a 1 yr open-ended ticket, yeah baby I was so psyched. Moving to Mexico. Living in Mexico. Now we’re talking. But alas, with the subtlety of a bomb, that dream ended on Day 2. There are 365 days in a year … so, not the 100th, or the 50th, but the SECOND day there, I got my drunk ass kicked & was left on the side of the road by the entrance of the Club. They found me all bloody, with my hands over my face rocking back & forth, repeating, ‘Why did they do this to me’ ….
According to the Universe, I wasn’t supposed to be there then. But that set off a domino effect downward spiral that I’m very lucky to be here to talk about now. BOY DO I APPRECIATE NOW!

12285708_12479696_lz


My Quantum Medicine teacher @ the NHC last year was spot on I gotta say !!! I love energy. What a wonderful wondrous thing. She wanted us to recall how we came into this world; if it was smooth, then so shall your life be; if it was not, then fasten your seat belt !! And wow, how crazily spot on that is!! When I was born, my right foot was folded forward, almost touching my ankle. My parents didn’t think I’d be able to walk. Imagine that, 1971, excited about your first child, & then omg a handicap/disability. I felt for my parents for that moment 😦

1923572_11114075394_8140_n

1923572_11114080394_8486_n

As I grew it wound up straightening out (with the help of a metal bar under my booties), then grade school was the shoes with the platform under one to even out my leg – good times .. At ten they removed a part of my tibia in my longer leg so it would grow slower, letting the other catch up … so this 5’4 girl should’ve been about 5’9ish … So ya, guess that set the stage for the craziness to come; what a struggle. But I know now all those things/events had a purpose, had to teach me. I wouldn’t change a thing. Ahhh to go back down there in this state of mind/soul!

unnamed


But first was the downward spiral; I won’t get into too many details about the 2nd incident, suffice it to say that after being so down from the Cancun fiasco, I pretty much picked up the partying where I left off, but took it much much further … going underground for 3 years into the rave scene. Don’t get me wrong, that time opened me up in many ways; I grew a lot. Had it just stayed that way, I woulda been fine – I had a fulltime M-F job in an accounting firm, and only partied/popped on Fri/Sat. Weekend Warrior. But then along came the smooth-talking conman, I now wonder if it was the devil himself … what an evil lost person that was. A sociopath/compulsive gambler/conman/manipulator/drug addict … all those traits you wanna bring home to your mama. Lol. But he kept that under wraps for the first 6 months – the Oscar goes to: E.K.


Long story short (that year is a whole season of Dr. Phil shows) … he took me for everything I had, conned my family friends & coworkers, I was living in this weird dual world. There was what he told me about something, then there was how I thought it really was. I almost went bonkers. Every time he was conning me, he did it so well. He made me believe I was crazy to not believe him – when in reality I wasn’t, I was right on. I was living 2 moments in each one – trying to explain it properly lol When I finally started to wise up to what was going on, he got abusive. I only took that for about 2 months, then finally left … only a shell of my former self. My earliest memory from after escaping that situation was standing in a store looking at bags of chips, & I was unable to make my own decision on which kind I wanted. Talk about giving up & giving away your power! Eventually, I slowly bounced back, rebuilt, & moved forward. It took years. If compound PTSD is a thing, I had it. Have it. I still l get flashes. To this day. A person can only take so much.

I think a person can take as much as they believe they can. Because whatever you tell yourself, is what is, is what becomes. Becomes reality. Your reality. You have a thought, then a little moment of reality is created. You have another thought, another little moment of reality is created, & so on & so on. Do you fully understand the sheer POWER of that statement? It means starting right now, you can create anything you want! Life IS just a series of nows. Strung together. So then of course, since you are the one who decides what to think, to set yourself up to have the best possible experience, why wouldn’t you only tell yourself positive things?! Knowing that we CAN create, that we ARE creators, help yourself out! Hopefully by now you’ve become you’re own best friend & will want to be good to yourself & create the most joyful experiences possible. And a Beautiful Life you shall have ***(Added in Jan2017)


Then in 2004, the worst thing of them all. I went to bed at 10:30 on a Friday night in May, then @ 2:43am I awoke to an intruder who was on top of me straddling me, arms pinned down & legs, his hand over my mouth & the other going for my pyjama buttons, all the while repeating don’t scream, don’t scream in french. THE NERVE !!! Who does that?? I couldn’t believe it was happening – I remember thinking I hope my murder will be loud enough that my neighbor wakes up before I actually die. Scrambling for a way to get out from under him, I bit the hand over my mouth as hard as I could, he punched me twice, but it worked, I pushed him off with all my might & screamed so loud people down the street heard it. And I chased the fucker right outta my apartment. He ran out the same way he broke in. My mind was trying to register what I was seeing. The back door open, the door’s window open, & the screen on the ground. It’s such a fucked up state to be in, you’re still trying to register what the hell is happening & how, but mostly you just want to save your life. To Live. I didn’t sleep for a year, I was too terrified to go to sleep. Who does that?? I was never the same after that.

They caught him 4 days later trying to get into my neighbors’, & I had already told everyone to be careful, putting signs up & being very vigilant. My neighbors beat him a little, & held him down & tried to come get me so I could get in a few kicks, but they knocked on the wrong door. Funny how shit like that happens sometimes.

The moral of the story is that I’m the happiest-go-luckiest-gal I know 🙂 Always positive, always smiling, always trying to spread Peace, Love & Positivity. Because it’s a decision. A decision I happily & naturally make every day. You should too 😉

I got the Golden Key. The secret of life, of happiness. Why we’re really here. One day I realized you don’t have to wait for anything to come along & make you happy, you just decide:

I AM Happy!

Somehow, I survived.


Happiness is a Choice.


Metaphorically I imagine myself in a big field, that is my life. There’s a fence, and the fence is the 40 yr mark. I’ve hopped over the fence to start this next half of my life, leaving the past behind, yet my shirt got stuck on the fence & I’m caught. Just wanna unhook my shirt from the fence. This trip will be cathartic. It’s a BIG DEAL to me. I’m 40 & it’s 2012. The time is now. So remember, don’t sweat the small stuff. Never expect anything. Just be happy the way you are, you’re perfect cuz you’re you. Don’t waste time worrying what others think, get out of those low energies – this is a note-to-self as well. I’m constantly researching reading & learning, I love it. I can do anything I want. But it’s been long enough now wallowing in ‘my story’. I don’t wanna be ‘my story’ anymore, I wanna just BE.

cropped-images.png



copyright-symbol

An Enchanted Cuban Evening

As they made their final approach to Cuba, she sipped her spiced rum & seven, relishing the sweet, smooth taste of vanilla as she watched the sun rise over the Cuban Keys, or Cayos, en espanol. Two weeks in paradise was never enough – once there you never want to leave. It was her 7th trip to the island, & still, she hadn’t seen all it had to offer. A country, poor in ‘money’ by world standards, but rich in music, in love, in culture, in family, in values – all the things money can’t buy. With next to nothing, they are happy. They know what is most important in life.

 

 

They are rich in other ways. They are rich in better ways.

 

 

She laughed; that deep, soulful, laugh, the one you hear & you just know, somebody has a secret. She has a secret.

They landed at 9:45 am, & she stealthily exited the plane – a mere 5’4″ & no carry-on – her impatient exit strategy perfected more & more with each flight. Traveling solo was her favorite way to go. She was passionate soul, never making plans, instead seeing where the wind would take her. Plans hinder spontaneity, & she refused to interfere with where ‘chance’ would take her. She had somewhere important to be, & she had important people to see. No two times were alike, & she was alive with excitement as to how the day & night would unfold. She found her private driver outside, holding the traditional ‘name on a sign’, & shuffled quickly into the chariot that would whisk her off to paradise.

CubaLifeguard2012

She laughed; that deep, soulful, laugh, the one you hear & you just know, somebody has a secret. She has a secret. And once check-in was complete, she grabbed what she needed for the day, & after a quick bite she was off to her backyard for half a month, la playa hermosa.

CubaGuillermo2012

Sand so white, so fine, it glistened in the sun, blinding everyone not daring to wear shades. The soft, warm Caribbean breeze frolicked with her merrily, her hair dancing around her shoulders playfully. She smiled, & closed her eyes. She spun around, & down, sashaying down the beach, & into the waves she went. She disappeared into the stripes of color – the water a crystal clear baby blue, with stripes of green & turquoise too.

CubaBeach2012

She laughed; that deep, soulful, laugh, the one you hear & you just know, somebody has a secret. She has a secret. 

She loved watching the palm trees that reached out from the shore & stretched out towards the sea swaying rhythmically in the salty air. The beach bar’s speakers grooved out a great tropical vibe with some reggaeton, & while the bartenders filled their cups with fine rum concoctions, people danced on the beach, in the waves, & in their hearts.

CubaPalm.jpg

She danced in the water, she danced on the beach. When she danced you could see the freedom in her soul, & the happiness coursing through her veins – she had a joy that simply could not be contained.

Even when she stood still, her soul danced. Yes she had a secret. 

CubaSand2012

As she exited the water & headed for the beach bar to refill her empty cup, she felt the eyes on her, she saw all the smiles. But they were not looking at her beauty – at least not the outside one. Not the one that one fades – focusing on something so fleeting was not their style. Or hers. They knew. For they had a secret too.

All afternoon both the tunes & the rum flowed, & in every moment they lived extraordinary ecstasy. They radiated all that matters, in each moment enchanting endlessly. Yes, they found her captivating, emanating their shared secret, but it was she who was truly captivated by them, time & time again. 

And they danced the night away.

It is not the hand your dealt that is of importance, no. True wisdom lies in what one does with the hand they’re dealt with.

What are you doing with yours?

Cuba2012

When you live in a land that has too much of every thing, but complains about everything, you watch people try to fill their empty void with more things, & then taking it all for granted. Cracks your world right open, & changes your perspective. 

CubaSign


IMG_20180226_101811_368