A Fall Escape

Last week, I was back on the road for a trip to Virginia—one last getaway before winter sets in.

On the way, I stopped in Maryland on a lovely, warm day to visit fellow blogger, Robin, who was kind enough to invite me to her home for lunch. We talked as if we had know each other for years; it’s nice to discover that real friendships can develop over the internet.

Walking through the woods with Robin.

Walking through the woods with Robin.

My destination was Virginia Beach, VA where I attended a three-day conference, “Life Beyond Death,” at Edgar Casey’s Association for Research and Enlightenment. Two of the psychic speakers, Lisa Williams and John J. Oliver, were especially awesome.

Association for Research and Enlightenment

Association for Research and Enlightenment

When I arrived at the hotel, this lovely view of a rainbow, or two, welcomed me. I grabbed this photo with my cell phone as I hadn’t brought my camera to the room.

Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA

Next morning, this was the view of the sunrise from my hotel window. The weather turned rainy and cooler after this.

Sunrise on Virginia Beach

Sunrise on Virginia Beach

The day I left, I stopped by Chincoteague Island, VA to see the wild ponies. None seemed to be on the beach.

Chincoteague Island

Chincoteague Island

Finally, I found some at quite a distance (my camera was zoomed to the max), maybe half a mile away.

Ponies on Chincoteague Island.

Ponies on Chincoteague Island.

At the end of my journey, I stopped by Rehoboth Beach in Delaware on a very blustery day.

Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach

I find that it’s always good to get away, but just as nice to return home with an updated perspective on life. I leave you with the words of Lin Yutang ~ “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”

Your Story Does Matter

I discovered the above metal plaque browsing through a shop in Punta Gorda, Florida back in April. It spoke to me so deeply that I knew I had to buy it and place it where I could see it often. It’s a reminder to me that what I have to say with my writing is worthwhile. It matters to someone and most importantly it matters that I share bits and pieces of me in my writing.

I believe it’s important for all of us to be aware that who we are and how we arrived at this point in life are crucial. Our stories and perspectives are unique because we are all as different as our fingerprints. This is the richness of our lives that deserves to be shared as we learn from and teach each other.

What is your story? Much of it is about the things that matter most in your life and why. They largely define who you are. Perhaps it’s an undeniable talent or a calling that directs you to a specific career or hobby. Whatever it is that characterizes you as your unique piece of the whole of humanity truly needs to be expressed and shared.

Why are you here?  Write it, sing it, create it, talk about it and most of all, love it. Your true essence matters to us all!

There’s Still Magic at Cape May Point

Nikon photos 051

Recently I spent a week in Cape May Point, New Jersey hoping to find the magic that I wrote about last year in Magical Moments. Although this trip with my daughter was just as fun and relaxing, I still hadn’t experienced that deep sense of inner peace and connection with “all there is” that I had found there previously…until the night before we left.

I love when the sun or moon sparkles on the water. It speaks to the innermost part of me in ways I can’t describe. Frolicking dolphins are a sure sign that there’s magic in the air. This is when it began for me, about an hour before sunset on Sunset Beach.

Frolicking Dolphin

Frolicking Dolphin

 I looked at the water through the lens of my camera and the magic began (at least for me).

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

 

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

 

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

It’s exciting to catch a wave crashing on the shore.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

Just before I left I had to capture this from the parking lot.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

 

I hope you enjoyed sharing my special memories of Sunset Beach! Have you been to a beach lately? Any special moments you’d like to share?

 

Messages in Our Dreams

When we look forward to a peaceful night of rest, our sleep may be invaded by thoughts, feelings and experiences that appear in dreams. Is there meaning here for us? Based on my experience, I believe that to a certain extent, there is.

Several years ago I studied a little about dreams and even kept a dream diary. I also remember attending a seminar about dream interpretation. The most important point I learned at the seminar was that the way a dream makes you feel is the most important factor in interpretation. Also, dreams can have universal symbols or themes but the way something like a bird, or snow, makes you feel determines its specific significance for you. For example, a dog can be a symbol of unconditional love to one person or fear to another who was bitten as a child.

I stopped keeping the dream diary after I had noticed two patterns – nonsense and themes. I also decided that if a dream was important enough I would still remember it the next day and not need to write it down in the middle of the night or even as soon as I woke. Many of my dreams made absolutely no sense and seemed to contain vague references to a person, place or thing I saw or thought about during the previous day. Basically these dreams were filled with meaningless activity. Other dreams had themes such as being lost or repeatedly looking for a person that I was unsuccessfully trying to contact in reality. I did find some relevance in them as they related to my life, and began to focus on any related emotional issues.

Repeated dreams with the same theme are a different matter; they send us a strong message although it may be difficult to decipher. The theme dream continues until we figure it out. Even today I occasionally dream I’m in school and have forgotten to attend classes or do the homework. This is unsettling to me as a former conscientious student. I am very relieved when I wake and remember that my school days are behind me. In this case, I believe that these dreams may be reflective of my fear of not doing well or not pushing myself to learn enough. Either way, they send a message of fear and insecurity. Perhaps that’s something I still need to work on.

Another theme for me involves tidal waves. For a number of years I dreamt that I would look behind me and see a high wall of water approaching or that I was swept away in a tidal wave. I am happy to say that I rarely have these dreams now. I believe that the feeling there was one of being overwhelmed; at that time in my life I no doubt was.

There also seem to be “direct message” dreams where we are being told by someone that we have cancer or another condition. This happened to me several years ago. The first couple of times I disregarded it as just a fear-based dream as it’s not uncommon to fear getting cancer although it wasn’t a thought I had dwelt upon. After a third or fourth dream, I actually was diagnosed with cancer. These dreams had occurred over the previous two-year period. If you receive a message like this at least three times, I would check it out just to be safe. I believe that message such as this can be sent from our higher self, spirit guide or angel when we are meant to act upon it.

I rarely have terrifying dreams although I have experienced a few that I have been happy to wake up from. I think that in this case it is unresolved emotion from experiences in the past or present that need our attention. I believe that dreams can bring a certain degree of healing through emotional release. Repeated dreams of terror, however, need some additional healing techniques such as by journaling or seeing a therapist.

Some people may experience precognitive dreams which reveal a future event. I did have a repeated dream that described an event in a very general sense that did finally occur. Other dreams that I had hoped were precognitive, never materialized, at least not yet!

My favorite type of dream is what I call a “love” dream. This is where someone either alive or dead comes to you and embraces you in a way that makes you feel more love in your heart than you normally experience in your everyday life. My own thought is that it is communication on the soul level either with one who has passed on or with someone who is alive, but physically separated from you. It’s their way of letting us know they are thinking about us in a very loving way. I had this experience with my mother a couple of months after she passed. I have also experienced it with people who I care about and from whom I’m physically separated, either by distance or circumstances.

To a certain extent, it seems as though dreams will always be somewhat of a mystery. Good or bad, though, they can send us clues to make our reality a better, happier place to live. We have only to respect and listen.

What messages do you receive in your dreams? I’d love for you to share.

Photo credit : Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

Magical Moments

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. – Unknown

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ
Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

I returned a few days ago from a relaxing, refreshing week in Cape May, NJ. Holding on to that sense of inner peace I’ve felt since I returned becomes more difficult with each passing day, but I’m determined this time to wait a bit longer before I allow it to slip through the cracks of everyday life.

I spent a lot of time sitting on Sunset Beach at Cape May Point staring at the Delaware Bay watching the dolphins doing their spins. The sand there is filled with bits of quartzite which are polished to a brilliant shine and sold as Cape May diamonds. Off shore lies the remains of the SS Atlantis, a concrete ship from World War I that was towed to Cape May to be used as a ferry dock in 1926. In June of that year, the ship broke free of her moorings in a storm and ran aground here.

SS Atlantus, Cape May Point, NJ Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

SS Atlantus, Cape May Point, NJ
Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

On the cloudiest day of the week, I was enjoying the refreshing salt air on Sunset Beach when I began to see a band of sparking light along the horizon. A few minutes later the entire bay before me was covered in sparking sunlight. Several more dolphins were frolicking. Soon the sunlight faded completely and minutes later the band of light appeared again on the horizon and stretched again across the bay as the sun and clouds did their dance. This repeated a couple of more times. The picture at the top doesn’t do it justice. It looked like nature’s beauty at it’s best and felt like God had the paintbrush in His hand.

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ  Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ
Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

I had always believed that Sunset Beach was a special place because the energy there felt so positive and relaxing. Now it’s even a bit magical for me; I can’t wait to return.

How about you? Magical moments are gifts for the soul. Have you experienced any lately?

Friday’s Photos – Isola Bella

Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, Italy Copyright Shirley Sorbello 2006

Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, Italy
Copyright Shirley Sorbello 2006

My favorite place on earth is the island of Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, near Stresa, Italy. I wrote about it HERE on this blog a couple of years ago. The gardens are lovely, and the beauty of the mountain views is undeniable.

Isola Bella Copyright Shirley Sorbello 2007

View from Isola Bella
Copyright Shirley Sorbello 2007

However, it’s more than beauty that draws me here…it’s the way it makes me feel when I’m there—joyful, loving, peaceful—a place that brings me contentment unlike anywhere else on earth.

What about you? Do you have a place nearby or at a distance that calls to you to visit because it makes you happy and stress-free to be there?

Photo Friday – Ascona, Switzerland

Today’s peaceful photo was taken in Ascona, Switzerland. Ascona lies near Locarno along my favorite body of water, Lake Maggiore. It is a small town that attracts tourists and artists and has lots of unique shops and outdoor restaurants. I would love to be sitting on that bench right now.

Ascona, Switzerland Copyright 2007 Shirley Sorbello

Ascona, Switzerland
Copyright 2007 Shirley Sorbello

Photo Friday – Venice

A typical photo of lovely Venice. I literally had to pinch myself here to make sure I was totally aware of being in this famous, magnificent city…to know that this truly was the place that poets describe in such eloquent terms and where the dust of the ages hangs so heavily in the alleyways that I could literally feel the energy of the past.

Venice, Italy Copyright 2006 Shirley  Sorbello

Venice, Italy
Copyright 2006 Shirley Sorbello