Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Latest European Tour

2017 Group of 38 Travelers
Photo credit: D. Shiner
Last week I concluded my six-week series on how and why I lead student trips to Europe. I started the series about a month before I was to take my fourth tour: March 10-21, 2017.

Since I am (mostly) retired, this was probably the last time I will have the opportunity to introduce students to international travel. Of course, I would never refuse a request... but my contacts are dwindling, and perhaps it is time to pass the baton.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How I Nourish Myself While Traveling


Prior to the April Blogging Challenge, where I focused on Journaling A-Z, I wrote a six post series on Leading a Student Tour to Europe. This series coordinated with my fourth trip, where I took 38 students and adults on a whirlwind tour of London, Paris, Florence, Rome, and Sorrento. We traveled from March 10-21, 2017, and had a fantastic time!

This post will conclude that series and then segue into the highlights of each of the visited cities.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017: Wrap-Up

Well, that was a quick month! Anyone else feel the same?

The A-Z Blogging Challenge of 2017 has officially ended, and once again I am simultaneously relieved and disappointed.

While the pace of writing a blog post per day can be overwhelming, with a bit of forethought and pre-planning, it is doable. And crossing that finish line makes the effort all worthwhile!

In this wrap-up post, I thought I'd share what I love most about this challenge, a few tips I've learned along the way, some new friends I met this month, and my excitement to participate again in 2018.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Journaling: Z = ZZzzz

A bit of a stretch for the letter Z but hey... it's the last day of the challenge, and it works for today's topic: Dreams.

Journaling our dreams can take two distinct forms.

One way is to keep a notebook and pen by your bedside. As you transition out of REM sleep and vaguely recall a nighttime dream, jot down a few notes. Reading even unintelligible scribble the next morning may help you recall the dream in detail. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Journaling: Y = Yearly Word

For several years now I have participated in the Word of the Year movement.

The concept is fairly simple. Select one word you wish to focus on to help with personal and spiritual growth. Typically I try to choose a word that helps to combat or overcome certain deficiencies in my life.

Brainstorming which word has been the subject of many journaling sessions.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Journaling: X = eXercise

I've mentioned Julia Cameron before with regards to Morning Pages. Another routine she is adamant to maintain is the weekly walk

This is not the cardiovascular exercise walk to increase heart rate, but rather a long, slow meander to increase mental observation and emotional well-being.

When I go for these kinds of walks, I try to clear my head before heading out the door. I want the walk to inform my thoughts, not the other way around. I don’t set out with a pre-determined question I need to answer, or problem I need to resolve. Rather, I allow my mind to be free from life’s distractions so I can enjoy the peace and beauty of God’s creation.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Journaling: W = Wellness Wheel

The Wellness Wheel is not a new concept.

The idea is to review the various components of our lives - the roles we play and the work we do - and align them in perfect harmony. Everything is moderation would be the motto of the Wellness Wheel.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Journaling: V = Values and Beliefs

Core values (definition): fundamental beliefs and guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Core Values help people know right from wrong, and determine whether choices and decisions are in line with our true beliefs. 

Understanding your core values is essential to an authentic life. Rather than making decisions based on popular opinion, you make decisions based on who you are - at the core. Knowing your core values is essential to finding peace and joy with yourself.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Journaling: U = Underlying Themes

Once you've been journaling a while, several months or perhaps years, you will begin to notice recurring themes in life.

At this point, you are ready to begin what Dave Fox refers to as Reflective Journaling.

Reflective journaling is a thought-filled process. Rather than rushing to get the words on paper, reflective journaling reads the words you've already written. It combines those written accounts with other life experiences, which allows you to discover patterns that were not so obvious before: Underlying Themes.
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