My Life So Far

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January 20, 2010

PERU, THE FIRST YEARS

So there I was in Ilo, Peru.  Happy as a pig in a mud hole.  Russell had a great job, the girls loved the company school, and I began to relax.  There were ladies who played bridge, which I love, and some who ran every morning, and even a few doing a little yoga once a week.  I woke up in the morning, stood at the front door looking out at the Pacific Ocean with my coffee and couldn't believe my good luck.

Within a few weeks, I started joining the ladies practicing yoga and began running with another group.   I knew I still needed to learn how to relax, but my body was finally beginning to let go of my fears, I thought.  The yoga we did was basic and I enjoyed it each week, but I needed more.  After a few months I suggested we practice twice a week and everyone was in agreement.

Life was very easy for me with a full-time live-in maid and gardener.  Food shopping was different and challenging, but I loved every minute of buying fruits and vegg...

January 8, 2010

So Russell has decided to quit the military because he doesn't want to fly a desk.  I was scared to death--out of my mind with fear!  I had never NOT been associated with the comfort zone of the military and the thought of being a civilian, living with civilians was way out of my realm of reality.  I really thought civilians were different somehow and I wouldn't fit in.  At the same time I had been diagnosed with glaucoma and was scared to death of that as well because my mother had already lost some of her vision because of it.  So my life was pretty much coming apart as I saw it.  I developed a muscle spasm in the back of my left shoulder and went to the flight surgeon for adjustments.  He was very helpful and decided to send me for biofeedback sessions to help me relax.  He had no clue, but his decision actually opened the door to the rest of my life.  Those few biofeedback sessions showed me just how much I didn't know how to relax.  I was shocked.  Yoga classes were recommended so...

January 6, 2010

We learn fastest through pain. It’s what karma is all about. If you were to get punched in the nose every time you walk through a yellow door, eventually (if you have any sense) you'll learn to stop walking through yellow doors. If you burn your finger every time you touch a hot stove, eventually you'll learn to stop touching hot stoves. If you make yourself miserable for years (or lifetimes) when other people don't live up to your expectations, eventually you'll learn that it's your expectations -- not other people -- that are making you miserable.

When your expectations are in conflict with what is, you resist what is and this causes pain.

January 6, 2010

THE NEXT 10 YEARS

So I guess being a hippie just wasn't in my karma.  I could have left my parent's house and done anything I wanted, but I didn't.  I continued going to Junior College in Jacksonville and working part-time in a department store. After 2 years of commuting 50 miles 2-4 times a day I decided I needed to move into the city and moved into Mrs. Wolf's Rooming House the week between Christmas and New Years 1969.  I had reconnected with a girl I worked with at one of my part-time jobs and she set me up on a blind date for a company New Years party with a guy her husband worked with--Russell, of course.  Within 5 minutes of being in the car with him I got one of those gut feelings:  I'm going to spend the rest of my life with this guy. 

We spent every evening and weekend together after that.  Six weeks later "the rabbit died" and without hesitation, we decided to get married.  My family, Russell's roommate and my best friend all went to Savannah, GA, to...

December 17, 2009

SO THE CIRCLE BEGINS

So I began my journey from that point of selfishness and insecurity.  I suppose many journeys begin for all the wrong reasons, but still get you where you need to go.  I had no idea that I  was starting a journey, thank goodness.  I probably wouldn't have been brave enough.  Ignorance is sometimes bliss.

I continued to attend all the church activities with my family, but with a different awareness.  I began to question in my own mind what was being taught.  Wouldn't have dreamed of voicing my doubts so I drifted along in my own way until eventually I dropped out of most church programs.  I just didn't feel that what was being taught was all there was.  I saw the hypocrisy of what was said and what was done.  Two completely different things happening all the time.  I saw no truth, no integrity and was very confused.  At that time I had no one to talk to so I decided to just let go of organized religion.  And my brilliant decision then was that I ne...

December 16, 2009

SO HOW DID I GET THIS WAY?

I've been asked many times how I got to be this calm and think the way I do about people and life. As usual, it wasn't easy.  So I'm going to try to put into words my story.  I will probably ramble around a lot as I haven't made an outline--too detail-oriented for me.  And I will probably interject current events and thoughts to break up the narrative.  If my story helps one person to decide to follow their own path then my effort will be worth it.  So here goes......

In the beginning...OK, I won't go back that far.  I was born on an army base in Macon, Georgia, lived there 6 months and spent the rest of my life, literally, moving about every 3-5 years.  I sometimes wonder if my whole spiritual life would have remained attached to organized religion if I had grown up in one place.  I was very involved most of my life with Methodist church activities, Sunday school and church service, Sunday evening and sometimes Wednesday evening, but there...

December 13, 2009

This is from an email newsletter from Richard Sutphen.  It pretty much sums up "our stuff" in a nutshell.  If we could all learn to accept this premise we would be so much happier.  I've been working on this for over 15 years and although I'm getting better it's still hard to make yourself accept the reality of it.  It takes daily practice.

I just traveled with my husband and he was constantly upset by how things were being done in the different airports.  Even though his anger wasn't going to change anything, he insisted on being angry.  Now what purpose did that serve?  I could agree with him that the airports weren't very organized, but being angry with him wasn't going to change that.  So I just let him rant and get himself all worked up.  It was one of those moments that made this principal very clear.

HUMAN POTENTIAL: The Cause of Suffering

We learn fastest through pain. It’s what karma is all about. If you were to get punched in the nose every tim...

December 2, 2009

I woke up this morning with a back ache so decided to go walking.  Went down to the main road, about a block away, the Costenera, and turned south.  I could see the ocean, but didn't know what kind of beach would be down there.  Eureka!  Just around the bend in the road is a nice long beach.  There's black sand from the road down to almost the edge of the surf, and then it changes to a shell base right down to the water.  I walked through the shells and as a life-long shell collector, picked up a couple as I walked.  Nothing spectacular, but it doesn't matter to me.  There's about 20 feet of little cone-shaped shells and then several different kinds of clam shells down to the water.  A good part of the shoreline is rocks so you get some really good sprays upward as the waves come in.  "Wow, that's a good one!"  (That's for my friend Denise.)  The crunch of the shells, the sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean--I'm in heaven....

November 30, 2009

Ah well, we had a great Thanksgiving dinner. All the food was excellent, in spite of me nearly burning the turkey in an oven that overheats by over 50 degrees.   Our Chilean wife made mashed potatoes for the first time and they were perfect.  Our other American wife brought green beans and the bachelors brought beer, wine, and Hagen Daaz vanilla ice cream for the store bought apple kuchen.  The ice cream had been thawed and frozen a few times, but we ate it without complaining.  The guys watched American football while we girls chatted and everyone had a good time.  It was nice to have a good meal, but even nicer to share it with friends, especially when we're so far away from family.  That's what it's all about, right?

So the holiday is over for us here--no Friday off or Black Friday shopping.  I spent the day here at the house waiting for household purchases to be delivered.  Had the usual glitches--wrong refrigerator delivered, some stuff not delivered....

November 25, 2009

PRE-THANKSGIVING IN ANTO

So here we are in Anto, just about 8 Americans working in the company, trying to "do" a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  It is, of course, all about getting together with family and friends and giving thanks for all God's blessings, but there is the food.  Yum!  So I'm going out today to scavenge the grocery stores for a turkey.  We've already given up on pumpkin pie since the Americans cooking aren't equipped yet to actually cook. We'll find some pre-made dessert in the store that will pass for apple pie, maybe.   I don't expect to find a turkey, maybe turkey breast, but there's always chicken in a pinch.  I'll look for cranberry sauce, but have no expectations of finding it so I won't be disappointed.  The Chilean wife of an American is making mashed potatoes after I shot down pasta salad.  Pasta salad has never been a staple on our Thanksgiving table.  I think sweet potatoes are out of season now so no casserole.  Dressing is a cinch, just crumbled bread, ce...

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