applying clarity through mindfullness

Ruidoso RiverMy newest, best friends are mule deer, elk, mountain lion, bear and blue jays who remind me each and every early, early morning that true, deep appreciation of the sights, sounds and smells of my much closer to nature home are undeniable, unmistakeable, truly amazing and not to be taken for granted.

With the deep, deep desire to start anew signaled by the arrival of spring in the mountains I have been reintroduced to the real meaning of lent, of its spiritual connection and how it should be a part of our lives.

I am a much more “simplified” man these days and what is truly important I have discovered living in and around nature, chatting with the critters and especially being close to fresh mountain waters. The only welcome participants in this life are those who care, are actually involved and who can truly appreciate the uncomplicated, almost elementary life.

It’s a sixth sense to learn from listening, truly and deeply listening to people and “feeling” from where they come, how they got here and what inspires them. I am a huge fan of genuine characters and they do indeed bring me happiness and a sense of wonder about mankind.

As an intelligent people who commonly understand lent as a period between seasons or the forty day preparation before Easter. My deeper understanding now also includes reflection and re-evaluation of what was learned or realized in a previous cycle or season, yet the typical meaning of “Lent” for all comes from a very deep desire to start anew.

ruidoso new mexico

“When you’re meeting your goals, being productive, feeling a sense of purpose, enjoying prosperity, and flourishing in all areas of your life, it can feel as if you’ve reached the end of a long road and all suffering is behind you.” ~ Ronald Alexander

These past ten years have been difficult, challenging, frustrating at times and filled with more wonder of and for the world than any other extended block of time I have ever experienced.

Now that I am approaching the end of my sixth decade as a single, happy man and can take advantage of the senior discounts allowed by my distinguished gray hair and scruffy salt and pepper mustache, I have been given the honor of people actually thinking that I know what I am doing. Well, that is pure nonsense, but thank you for your vote of confidence…

Today, I am reading more than I ever have, and now that I am convinced that I am indeed a writer, I consume each day with more curiosity and concern for the truth than ever before. If I had the time and the money to go back to school, I envision that my attitude towards learning and growing is in comparison to my curiosity of my early twenties.

My spiritual connection is far more diverse and grounded than I could have ever imagined back then, and when I get together with just myself and truly appreciate the world around me, the advice from my heroes, favorite authors and the experiences of the day are helping me determine that it is so very clear what I deeply feel and welcome the desire to renew.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

As a father of grown children, I have discovered it is better that I leave them alone to access the many lessons they have learned from me in ways that are silent reminders about the difference between right and wrong.

They are remarkable creatures, each going their own way and learning from the attempts to survive and succeed. Their experiences will determine their fortunes and I do hope that they learned a little about life from their dear old Dad and his absolutely annoying sense of humor.

New Mexico MorningSo, I’ll leave this with you and hope that clarity is a huge part of your life, that your desire to start fresh again, take on the world with new hope, new inspiration and a nagging attitude of all the possibilities carries you to many more tomorrows.

By being clear about what you want and no longer contradicting it with opposing thoughts, you will enable the Laws of the Universe to do their work, and you will not feel a need to offer so much action to compensate for inappropriate thought. By offering deliberate thought, you will harness the power of the Universe, and it will require far less time for you to accomplish much, much more” – Esther and Jerry Hicks

a return to simplicity

New Mexico sceneryA journey postponed is now revitalized, inspired by changes thrown into a mix of “which direction” to follow. It’s back to New Mexico, but this time I am surrounded by the mountains of the Lincoln National Forest.

My eager and willing guidance continues via a search for a return to nature finding such happiness and calm from the many views of mountain valleys filled with pines and poplars.

Towards that reconnection within the forest, much nearer to lakes, rivers and streams, I cautiously attempt  to connect with the woodland creatures here reminding them to please stay off the roads and highways.

There are so many mule deer here in the south eastern mountains of New Mexico, kindly looked after by our animal loving population, they are quite tame and don’t seem to be bothered by mankind what-so-ever.

The deer families that roam through our property are adorable, yet if you are a gardener, while planting or pruning your spring gardens, they are a little pesky for the drought has limited the edible foliage and they are nibbling on everything they can forage.

Gould's Wild Turkey

At the 7,000+ foot elevation the wildlife here is varied and quite often visible especially in the early mornings and just before sundown. There are hunters from New Mexico and Texas searching these mountains and valleys for such native wild game as elk, mountain lion, bob cat, mule deer and American wild turkey.

Fortunately, I am not a hunter, but I do plan to familiarize myself more with the trout streams and fish friendly lakes very near to my new location. A fan of the catch and release course of action, I am far more interested in the quiet of my natural settings, whether or not I am catching fish.

We are enjoying a little pre-spring snow as of late and the evening temperatures are still in the low thirties. The mountain continues to attract the ski and snow board crowd to Ski Apache while the kids love to populate the sledding / tubing hill just next door to our cabins who are making snow nightly.

The opportunity to escape into limitless wilderness settings is everywhere here and my brief walks and short hikes have exposed a type of natural habitat I am unfamiliar with being a beach kid most of my life. The fact that this part of the wild west is filled with trees entices all who come here to relax.

I am still not a huge fan of the cold here, but I can attest to and greatly appreciate the pines, the fresh air and the nip in the air that requires you to always wear a jacket if going outside.

I happily build a fire from scratch every afternoon in my small cabin abode and I am loving the sights and smells of my mountain retreat. The mountains have a way of lulling you into a calm new appreciation of nature and any creatures that stop by seem to appreciate my wonder of their world.

New Mexico Trout FishingThe opportunity to wander with mother nature at my side is fabulous and now that I have acclimated myself to the high altitude and the cold winds, I am having a great time exploring.

Of the many characters I have met while here, there is a special group who could only be described as gold hungry prospectors. Our conversations include such topics as hidden fortunes, new mining technologies, recent episodes of Gold Hunters and the fact that many of them have actually found gold as novices and have the bug to find more.

Yet another reason to go exploring in the forest, in the rivers and along the streams of the Lincoln National Forest and beyond with Spring being only a few weeks away, it’s gonna be a great year of discovery in my new world. The only thing on my wish list right now is a new pair of hiking shoes…

of thoughts and passion

intuitionAnother chronological milestone approaches, and a struggle ensues with connecting, sorting and better understanding a rush of internal messages that has me awake very early…  again.

A definition so very compelling – “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.”

Softly and consistently the indications and ideas flow, though it’s quite early on this new Monday, I am happy with these many urges and sparks of inspiration. The race car mechanic in me offers a thumbs up signaling that we are indeed firing on all eight.

Crazy and confused? Yet the voice and ease of translation of becomes more loud, clear and full of smiles and snickers as my “over yonder” compass spins towards a new direction.

Is it my gut telling me to artlessly run or is it a much deeper conversation prodding, insisting that I abandon my search from the comfort of the mainstream, and that the allure of new horizons and adventure awaits. Travel, uncertainty and a connection with people, hospitality and a vacation attitude and lifestyle tugs at my mind and my heart.

Go to where there are more smiles, more laughter and the echoes of happier moments summon my engagement. “Carefree” the most visible road sign blares…

Empathy or electricity? Of impending change, the direction and movement towards “upward and onward” increases from a trickle of insight to a flood of inspiration. It is time to let go, for doing the same thing assuming it’s the right thing should be cast aside and life’s enjoyment be my spark and my responsibility.

Though I am driven by the desire to better understand and truly feel a blissful connection with my intuition, actively searching for an answer dilutes that energy, and the less I willfully maintain that positive flow.

Freedom to walk my own path allows for an embrace of my enthusiasm for the new and different, the less stable and responsible, which I more clearly see as a hindrance and a restriction with connections to the complexity of our society and more importantly with America.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  ~ Albert Einstein


The power of intuition as it connects to our inner self and a more comfortable awareness of our vast mental powers is better described as insight, which from what I have read and studied, are all connected if we simply and freely “allow” it to unfold.

I think of my intuitive connection to be more of a romance with my self which once open and flowing, blossoms at will and carries me into new and more enlightened realms of discovery, like writing a letter to someone no more specific than “you.”

It is not like searching for the light switch in the dark, nor tripping over the rug and falling forward into a new direction. Intuition is more a feeling , an acceptance and an appreciation of the intensity which we have hopefully accumulated through life’s lessons.

These are the building blocks of our hopefully increasing and occasionally intense perception of life and the world around us.

I also believe that intuition and much of our intuitive powers lie deeply in the lessons and communications from our early childhood and once re-released, it is now more my goal that I allow intuition to occur more frequently and most assuredly whenever possible.

“A person in whom intuition was dominant, an “intuitive type”, acted not on the basis of rational judgment but on sheer intensity of perception.” ~ Carl Jung

A better understanding and connection with your intuitive self can also benefit or ease what to do when facing unexpected change. I also believe that with the use of your intuitive powers you can possibly even be made aware of impending changes before they happen.

Feeling a bit of a novice in regards to my powers of knowing connects deeply with my personal searching and research education these past several years, it is now my opinion that the desire to write and better know myself is connected with what connects me with the laws of attraction. I choose to attract my future through those thoughts, feelings and experiences that leave me smiling and wondering what’s next.

There is an obvious connection which evolves with a continued desire to understand and as this passionate process ensues… a new, passionate and far better connection with the self may indeed provide a better road map of life beginning with fifty nine.

never ending possibilities

A garden walkAt this particular juncture in my precarious, yet inspired journey I have a new mission.

As I better understanding who I really am and what essentially drives me forward, the where I am decisively headed clears the morning fog.

It is held within my words and thoughts to only myself only that I find direction and clarity in my wanderings.

“Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” ~ Miguel Ruiz

I have learned one very important lesson in these past few years when I was thrown into unemployment, gifted with caring for aging parents and learning all about rejection in the career search world as being over qualified or limited by financial troubles of my recent past.

It truly is all about a connection with the world and most significantly with people from every corner of our earth. Being allowed to communicate and release my desire to interact and cajole with customers, I have found my heart in hospitality and making certain that those I come in contact with have a wonderful experience and a better day.

My enlightenment comes from time alone, being on the road and being given the opportunity to connect with countless strangers and customers. My recent experiences have provided the blissful experience of meeting and becoming friends with the lost, the poor, the angry, the hurt, the ashamed, the addicted and the remorseful.

I have met many genuine characters from all walks of life, all with amazing life histories, many of whom are running from their past with little or no vision of where they are going.

being alone“I think it’s good for a person to spend time alone. It gives them an opportunity to discover who they are and to figure out why they are always alone.”  ~ Amy Sedaris

Enter my amazing experience in the hospitality industry, of running a hotel and dining room where I have discovered that the general term of “hospitality” connects with much more than only accommodation, it is immersed in friendliness, companionship, generosity, entertainment, warmth and quite frequently – wine.

Many a solo traveler and I have spent nights sipping tea or pinot noir or bourbon into the late hours discussing life and it became very clear that all most people really need is someone to listen.

So, my plan is to talk less and listen more, appreciate more and . To appreciate more my opportunities and to view my gifts to make someone smile and enjoy their day just a little bit more. I have learned how to connect with people, even those who fear that connection and build friendships whether they are customers or random meetings on the streets of life.

Smile, listen, compliment and connect – this is my mission and I am loving it.

defining your commute…

fairwaysDropping three balls on the 16th fairway I began the commute to the clubhouse. It was early, the grass freshly mowed and watered, bare feet would get me there happily.

As I imagined playing the final three holes of the U.S. Open (in my mind), on Sunday afternoon and under par I might add – it was blissful, yet where are the crowds?

I had recently transitioned out of a fun, but far less than challenging job held since high school, a grocery position where I became an expert in fine foods, cheeses, wines, and farm fresh produce from around the world.

We were the only store who carried high grade caviar, French champagne and a host of other items fit for the gourmet kitchen or table – simply put, the finer things.  Julia Child was not just a customer, she was a friend who loved to tease.

Daily interaction with people from all walks of life and income levels allowed for unique customer friendships and I was on first name basis with many celebrities. My annoyingly friendly personality was honed to a skillful level in my twenties and helping people enjoy their shopping experience in my store was a highlight.

I could happily spend an entire afternoon on the 10 items or less, cash only register.

The random characters all paying with $100 bills on an assortment of cocktail ingredients and high price libations was amazing, even on Sunday mornings. I learned then that only a true gentleman can whip up a Ramos Fizz to ease a morning’s hangover and at a moments notice, in the upper parking lot on the tailgate of a Range Rover.

Frequently I house and garden sat, caring for animals, orchids and African violets – my green thumb continues to serve me well thanks Mom and my Nana. I was referred to as a clean responsible young man, and while living in someone else’s winter or summer home in Montecito I would typically fix or make something better by the time the owners got home.

The fact that I was living in a cottage in need of repair and just down the street from the store for a paltry $250 a month overlooking the country club golf course didn’t matter much. My needs were met inexpensively, it was warm, safe and well hidden.

I was recently separated from my first wife, had moved out of a wonderful home I had lived in for seven years and for the first time in years, I was alone. Embracing the process of eliminating underwhelming reminders of my past, was healing my heart and I began writing in a journal for the very first time.

I had transitioned into a golf shop assistant at a local country club, making seven dollars an hour, with two meals a day and occasionally a very large cocktail (in a to-go cup) at the end of my 12 hour day. I was paying $250 a month to live in a converted garage assessable only through a huge hedge and I played golf four days a week.

the valley clubI played any course in Southern California for free as long as I called ahead, was polite, respectful and willing to play golf with their membership.  Even the exclusive ones were assessable on Mondays and I took full advantage, believe me…

Life was quite good, I had no debt, no car, no real cares and a growing group of friends who were exceptional golfers who I learned much from. The idea of a long, hectic commute didn’t even enter my mind.

Later in life I can recall spending up to three hours in my car on my round trip to achieve a higher salary, more responsibility and more hours in front of a computer.

I miss those days when I walked to work, was on a best friend basis with the membership’s dogs roaming the fresh cut grass checking in with me as I knocked that pristine white ball into the hole. Life was simple and besides being deeply happy, I enjoyed a care free lifestyle and I was getting paid enough to survive quite nicely.

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” ~ Martha Washington

So once again I am blissfully alone, yet happier than I have been in years as I pursue my passions. I wake early to experience the sunrise and as I search for my next rewarding vocation, I walk often and smile always.  Cheers!

a structure of wonder

classic old wood barnAt first what appeared to be a place of storage of things long forgotten, then a covered area for farm animals. Eventually it transformed into a palace for thought, ideas and potential creative development.

It’s my solitary, private, and nearly silent hiding place allowing for a unique appreciation of my new world. The sound of rain and hail on the metal roof, the creaks and groans of old timbers and the myriad of other creatures sharing a semi safe structure out of the elements.

It is at times a heavenly escape where I write and simply be thankful. A blissful and remote refuge where very few are welcome and far fewer are aware of it’s existence.

There is a dirt road of sorts, covered in an amazing assortment of New Mexico mined gravel which will challenge all light duty passenger vehicles.  The faint of heart or unseasoned off-roaders don’t dare venture forth, especially in rough weather.

As I have rediscovered in the appreciation of life, it’s not about the big spacious home, and affluent appointments. What is far more important is an earthly charm, warmth and love – for me now it is all about the barn and the inner surroundings of the past in its weathered beauty.

the manzanos from the rio grande

It’s not loneliness as one might perceive from the lack of population here; it is more an awareness of life through listening and the adoption of a more keen appreciation.

To tour the United States of America via the back roads and lonesome two lane highways provides a view of the majesty of our country.

So life here is different, very different than anyplace I have ever lived or spent much time getting to know. A small rural community has many benefits for me at my age and stage of life, yet there are parts of it that are sad and even somewhat alarming.

The summer is ending and there are thunderstorms ahead, but what excites me most are the State Fair, Balloon Festival and Rodeo that all come in the fall.  The opportunity to become more involved and enveloped in New Mexico and the southwestern lifestyle.

From my tiny town, with the people I have met and befriended, I truly feel more accepted and no longer an outsider. I am learning how to deal with the rumors and the understand the poverty and the plight of some of the residents.

From a remote property hidden in the forest in the Manzano Mountains I have found refuge, I embrace hope and laughter there easily. The earth has opened my eyes to an understanding and of living simply in an area filled with a spiritual energy that can be felt quite strongly – if you allow it to…

Acceptance of…

2013-06-18 15.35.46“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.” ~ George Carlin

A move to the high chaparral of central New Mexico involves the opportunity to meet and greet an amazing array of strangers from what was to me a very unfamiliar part of America. From what I have seen my friends, you are missing out on true humanity by not exploring our great land.

Skip the beaches, the amusement parks and the cities for the back roads of our nation are filled with our fellow-man and it is immediately apparent The process in offering of myself openly and sometimes annoyingly as a genuine, friendly soul is a connection journey with the history, the families and the characters involved with my small, rural lifestyle.

In my travels, I have discovered many very special people and have been blessed to meet and talk with some amazing souls. A select few are more reluctant to smile, to trust or to readily accept anyone into their lives.

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert A. Heinlein

Enter the annoyingly friendly dude from California who is actively pursuing a degree in active listening, from this I have been granted access to new and unique lives and stories of the world.

Not that I could have ever imagined someone as annoyingly friendly as I who’s willing to entertain a prohibition of talking, instead I pursue new friendship via intent listening to other’s lives, triumphs and failures.

There are many more words worth listening to than to be spoken by me, I use my amiable ways to connect and to gain access via genuine interest to their family histories and the stories of many of their ancestors. How wondrous indeed!

2013-05-13 15.02.31Winning is seen in our local’s reluctance to accept someone who bugs, as I am less intrusive and resistance is less frequent and less obvious. Shown by more and more friends and acquaintances who smile and now choose to call me Eddie.

I have been curiously visiting with those who run the local businesses simply to introduce myself and to invite them into the dining room. Most responses now that I have been here a while are supportive, a fabulous feeling indeed.

Acceptance of the new general manager of the Shaffer Hotel and Dining Room as the heavily refurbished and very best place to town to meet and eat is gradual for some, but I am seeing and feeling more warmth and feel much more welcome.

I am loving my new world here, my feeling of belonging and the welcoming of new invitations to ranches and into their homes while I feel the pride in their livestock and their horses, while hearing much more about their lives here in rural New Mexico.

A more prevalent factor than where and how I was raised is the importance and pride involved with family and the lineage of a family’s heritage. Not that ancestry was neglected or forgotten in my family, it’s simply that some of the families here can trace their heritage back 400 to 500 years or more.

2013-05-14 13.50.01Several of my new friends here can share stories passed down for these hundreds of years and have fond, vivid memories of their grandparents and great grand parents.

“Or heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” ~ Walt Disney

New Mexico was inhabited by many Indigenous Peoples of the Americas for centuries, and was part of the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of the New Spain, was part of Mexico and eventually a U.S. Territory.

The history of New Mexico is quite amazing, the stories from the older locals about our hotel and the past proprietors is fuel for many novels I can assure you.