Category Archives: One Traveler’s Testimony

Day 30, Bring On the Rain

Today marks the last day of my #grayskychallenge, where I promised to find a silver lining to every cloudy day that appeared.

From the very beginning, I noticed something almost unmistakable. As soon as I turned my frown upside-down, as soon as I found a new way of seeing things, the situation polished itself like the shiny old pennies I found that one day. That realization is what many spiritual gurus inspire in us … we create our own reality. We have the power to live the dream we would like to live.

On this Day 30, I have also learned about myself and my situation. Whereas I am typically a Polly Pollyanna seeing the good in every person and in every situation, sometimes being that person can be exhausting, especially if, as I had done, the weight of the entire “silver-lining” search had fallen in my lap.

Sometimes, the silver linings that presented themselves were not situations I had expected. Sometimes, they were more than I had ever wanted and just as daunting a task.

I am exhausted. I’m looking forward to a rainy day when I can curl up on my couch and meditate on what I really want out of my life. And, on that rainy day, I promise to appreciate the dark clouds and the blessings they provide.

But I am far from converting from my #grayskychallenge. I learned during these past 30 days, that the power of the human mind is limitless. I created a reality for myself during this past month and the Universe was agreeing with me. The question I must address here is, do I understand what I’ve gotten myself into and is this something I really want? (Maybe, like those three shiny pennies, this was meant for someone else? This will be an interesting meditation!)

Enjoy the rain, my friends,

The Dragonfly’s Student

Day 14, the Joys

Today’s #grayskychallenge is simple. It’s about joy; not just finding joy, but recognizing it. As I write this, kids are playing on this beautiful Saturday morning. Laughing and calling out to their friends. When an adult laughs, it affirms the joy I feel from across the street.

Why does the play of children bring joy? Is it their innocence or the childhood we remember? For me, it recalls the childhood of my sons most and of days gone by, days that cannot be replayed except in my memory. The joy, in that case, comes with tears, but only briefly. The tears are for a long-forgotten past that is never really forgotten.

The children continue playing, the sun continues warming, the birds still sing. And in my little home, my love replays his latest composition.

In the Midst of Her Grace, by D. Starkey

I am in my own joy.

Look for joy all around you, my friends.

Much love,

The Dragonfly’s Student

Day 12 — Claim your power

#grayskychallenge … Yesterday, today, tomorrow. In the reality in which we live, sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference. I find that seeking out those things that bring joy can make the next day a little easier to live. Because, really, it is all about me in my reality, and it’s all about you in yours. No one can make you have a bad day, no one can force you to put on those dark shades to blind you from the light. Only we have that power in our own reality.

Did you have a bad day today? Did someone step on your toes and make you feel less than you are? I say that’s impossible. Someone may say or do something that hurts you, but you have the power to take that comment or that act, brush off your emotions, your reactions, and file it away with the other lessons you have experienced. Put it in the file cabinet and go into the next day ready to begin again.

Hopefully, we learn from the things that hurt us. Hopefully, we allow ourselves to grow to become an even better person, because, I say this again, no one can make us feel any way. That’s our power.

I choose to see the beauty in every day and ignore the chaos others see playing out on the TV news. Maybe that’s why this challenge of mine is so easy for me? I choose to live the joy I feel every day, not immerse myself in the world of TV and separation.

I say take off those dark shades shielding you from the light and enjoy the colors of the rainbow!

The Dragonfly’s Student

Day 9 — Stand for your truth

#grayskychallenge, Day 9

Last night, I found a charming Fedora hanging on a Bob’s Barricade, as if waiting for me to come claim it. I’ve always loved hats, and Fedoras, especially. I wondered at the reason for that find. So, I did a little research on Online Etymology Dictionary:

fedora (n.)  type of hat, 1887, American English, from “Fédora,” a popular play by Victorien Sardou (1831-1908) that opened 1882, in which the heroine, a Russian princess named Fédora Romanoff, originally was performed by Sarah Bernhardt. During the play, Bernhardt, a notorious cross-dresser, wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. Women’s-rights activists adopted the fashion. The proper name is Russian fem. of Fedor, from Greek Theodoros, literally “gift of god.”

Sometimes, the true meanings of synchronicity don’t come until later.

This morning, finding a silver lining for my gray skies was a challenge. I had to fend through the frustrations of living in the real world, where being unique is not accepted. Many won’t pity me here, I know. I have spent these past few years trying to live my

truth and staying away from petty people who expect me to be just as caught-in-the-world, face-in-the-phone as I used to be and they still are. I had to meditate a little more than usual to come up with something positive to say. My inner guide thought I needed to explain my intentions for this life I am now living. I needed to reclaim my Truth.

Gift-from-God perched on the top of my head, now, I am ready to find the silver lining for day nine … and it is this, when the whirlwinds of the day try to rip me apart, I must remember my reason for being in this place at this time of my life. I must stay true to myself. I must never allow my shoulders to sag nor my head to bow. I must hold on to my hat and my identify, proudly proclaiming, “I am who I am in this life; I am Mari, I am Writer, I am The Dragonfly’s Student, and nothing anyone can do or say can make me forget that Truth!”

Week one update #gray-skychallenge

Dear friends,

I’ve been updating my progress on Facebook. I need to rethink my posting. Some of you are not on Facebook, and by keeping updates on one or two social media sites, I’m robbing you, my readers, on the lessons I’m learning.

Today, I’ll post Day 2 through Day 8, as they appeared, minus most photos.

Day 2’s #grayskychallenge smile is this Blue Jay who brought me a message: Jay teaches lessons of adaptation to any situations and learning quickly with a high intelligence. He gives access to memories long forgotten and shows how to assimilate them into awareness. He

demonstrates risk taking, seizing opportunities and discovering new avenues for exploration. He will show the power of intelligence and fortitude balanced with discreet silence and utmost patience in timing. #greattiming #happyday

Day 3 of #grayskychallenge is solitude day. Once upon a time, that used to be unsettling. Today, it’s #soulfood! There are things about ourselves we sometimes hide from ourselves! Today, I found another part of me. Smile!

What part of me did I find? I found that part of me who listens to Innate, our inner connection to Source. Sure, I’ve listened to her before, but many times I challenge her to prove that I should, and often I end the day saying, “I should have done that thing that popped into my head.” Today was different!

#grayskychallenge Day 4 finds joy in reawakening passions from days gone by when Mrs. Manning, Mr. Valente, and a private tutor named Jesus, fed my love of singing. Today, I start again with basic scales and YouTube accompaniment … it’s not really as easy as getting back on a bike!

Rekindle your own childhood passions, my friends.

#grayskychallenge Day 5 is about the true friendship and love I witness in those around me, from two former students saying goodbye once again, to a cashier and a customer exchanging a hello-again hug. True friendship means never having a final sunset, because there will be another sunrise down the road. #havefaith #truefriends

#grayskychallenge, Day 6 – remember our blessings! Too often, we forget or take things for granted. Today, I sit in awe of the man who was and is my partner on this journey. Whether he’s fixing our RV or making a baton out of a Goodwill golf club, David never ceases to amaze me! The “silver lining” part of this day for me (for I must add a personal lesson for it to fit this gray-sky challenge of mine) … on this journey with him, I have learned that anything is possible, even wild, magical dreams! I have learned that I, too, am capable of turning my life into my own “impossible dream” come true. And that is a lesson we should all take to heart — no matter our age or our upbringing, nothing is impossible if we are willing to put in the work and follow our heart. Now, it’s time I get off this beast-machine and get back to practice! #faithcanworkmiracles Have faith in yourselves, my friends! KNOW it will happen and the Universe will see to it that it does!

#grayskychallenge, Day 7 – laughter is the best medicine. I was reminded today that we can get caught up in the heaviness of this world just like a fly in a spider web; the more we try to break free, the more entangled we become in the heavy trap. It’s not worth the stress. Instead, look for the humor in it. I know, it’s tough to laugh when the spider is eyeing you, but sometimes the Universe reacts to positive vibes. Maybe you’ll luck out and the wind will swing a branch through the web and you’ll be able to hitch a ride out of your imagined trap.

Day 8 of #grayskychallenge … is the challenge of seeing yourself through the looking glass. I am not the one I see in the mirror. She is a reflection of what I show the world, but she’s not really me. She’s the one who fights to keep up appearances to the point that her truth is obscured in the mist of a hot shower. The real me is loving and positive of God’s love burning in my heart, but, like with Moses, I feel my body has been the source of a Divine battle between Archangel Michael and the devil.  Sometimes, even I don’t recognize what I’ve done until the mist has cleared and the devastation is evident. I am sorry to the point of tears for the damage my words or my actions have caused. … so where’s the silver lining to this gray sky? I Know I am forgiven. I Know the Creator loves me more than I can ever imagine, and all I need do is accept His forgiveness. The great thing is, we are all loved and we are all forgiven. Feel it, my friends. The Almighty I Am loves you beyond measure!

Fly toward your Joy!

This witness has been spreading her wings to check out areas of this country that had previously been hidden to me.

Most recently, El Juglador and I traveled to Miami, where much of my family lives, and have been experiencing different worlds within the one we had known before. Those experiences include questions I had never muttered before. What is causing cancers that were never prevalent before? Why are so many suffering from allergies they had never before experienced? How are birds echoing whistles we taught their brothers miles away? Why do we avoid asking about people we wish were not in our life? Why do we prefer to think only of ourselves? Why do people prefer to remember the person you used to be rather than the new person you are? Why does the matrix entangle us so much that we can’t do what we really want?

No matter, really. The person you become when you start thinking about your thinking IS. It is the part of you that can find your Joy.

Joy is not found in the things you do or the people you know. It can not be bought at a store or found in a treasure chest. True joy, the kind that validates the Why of living, is found by doing what burns in your soul. I have found that it can be found when you listen to that little voice within yourself, in your gut, in your God essence, and ACT on what your heart calls out. Are you really alive in your day-to-day life? If not, why are you living someone else’s Joy?

If you are living your truth, congratulations, my friend. Keep going strong in your Truth and stand up for yourself, even with well-meaning loved ones who don’t understand. Maybe your Joy can be contagious. Maybe one day we’ll all be living in Joy and Truth, truly understanding why we were placed on this Being known as Gaia, truly understanding the quantum entanglement of Life.

The birds can be your brothers, as can the dragonflies, the trees, that park bench made from former living trees, that vehicle created with a myriad of Gaia’s gifts.

Think about your thinking, my friends, then think about your actions, connect it with the saying, As Above, So Below, then aim a little higher, outside the 3D existence, into the 4th, maybe even the 5th.

Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars.

… as for us, we’re on the road again… 

Pride is so difficult to ignore

On this American journey on which I am one traveler, I have not been alone. Most of you know that I set off with my puppy, Minnah, who is now an adult of three years, and some of you know the second traveler I called El Juglador to protect his privacy. David and I met because we had a similar spiritual mission to travel to the Hopi in Arizona and to points further west. We have continued together on our mission to be Servants of God because what we share is more than a spiritual connection to the Almighty. We three, David, Minnah, and I, share a connection that surpasses time itself. We are truly SoulMates.

One of the things I have learned on this journey is how to reach inside myself and find those parts of me that don’t meet up with what the Almighty has asked of us. The lessons, as I’ve detailed sometimes, are heart-wrenching and painful until I no longer resist. My latest lesson is that Pride comes with many faces. For me, it is one of the hardest things I have had to learn. My Ego, which has protected me from pain for most of my life, has been too proud to ask for help.

Recently, a friend reminded me that others like to feel needed, but if I don’t ask, it helps no one but that dark shadow that loves to keep us down.

I now “suck it up” to tell my readers about the most recent lessons I have had to encounter.

On my birthday last year (April 7,) David got me a real, honest-to-goodness, Starline twirling baton. You know, the kind the majorettes twirl as they lead the band in a parade or swing their magic at a football game. It was my 50th birthday and I felt like a child again as David taught me the skills he learned when he twirled in high school. Within days, we decided David would be picking up his old fascination again and competing in Disney’s TwirlMania this February. We resettled to Central Florida for the winter. Then, just weeks before the competition, he began to feel something just not quite right.

The day before, we went to an emergency room. He just needed help with the pain, or, maybe, something to help him breathe easier. Maybe an inhaler or some pain medication stronger than Motrin. The doctor ordered an Xray. I was not in the room when the doctor returned with the results. David stormed into the waiting room, intent on leaving. The doctor wanted to admit him; something about his lung. It was the day before the competition. There was no way he was going to miss this, he said.

As it is, he had to miss it. We hiked through the venue at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in Kissimmee that hot day, David barely able to catch his breath. The one lasting memory we have is the little boy my son noticed watching us as we walked out. David stopped to catch his breath and say hi to this baton-twirling fan who reminded him of himself. We promised him David would be competing in the Men’s Masters the next day. We never made it. For the next few days, David lay in his bed in MJ, our RV, barely able to walk around.

I took over full duties with MJ, driving her around Orlando, hoping David would feel better, then driving us to my mother’s house in Miami. I pumped the gas, I drove, I, dumped and filled the tanks, I also smudged with sage and spread tobacco as part of our daily ceremonies … I took over every responsibility David and I had shared for the past two years. Well, almost. I still had problems jerry-rigging our generator to start the way the mechanic in New Mexico taught us.

Within a week of arriving in Miami, David gave in and admitted he needed help. March 8 we called 911. He couldn’t breathe and after walking just a few steps, he would pass out. One doctor said he wouldn’t have lasted more than six hours that day if he hadn’t sought help when he did.

That, I believe, was David’s lesson which mirrors mine today, when I created a GoFundMe account. But I don’t really believe this is anywhere close to what David had to go through. So I had to ask for help from my family and friends. Big, whoop! He had to admit that something insignificant was getting the best of him. He is truly a strong man that I love more deeply than words can say.

So this is the GoFundMe page I created: GoFundMe

March 8 David was rushed to the hospital when he couldn’t breathe. A common, non-contagious bacteria had collapsed his lungs when it took over his thoracic cavity. After 22 days, he was released from the hospital with a prescription to continue the aggressive antibiotic treatment. We cannot afford the bills. He has been assured his tribe, the First Nations Ojibwa in Michigan (Chippewa) can help, but he must apply in person.

After almost two years serving God throughout the nation, our last funds were able to bring us to my family in Miami, which has been very helpful throughout this ordeal. Minnah, our beloved dog, was well-cared for, and I found emotional support. I now find myself asking for financial help from my friends.

Please help us get David home to Michigan so he can get the treatment he needs in order that this bacteria is completely out of his system.

The treatment, we were initially told, would have to be for a year, but they amended it to five months. The name-brand medication prescribed for this aggressive treatment would cost $4,000 a month without insurance! (We found an alternative to that, but that’s what led me to finally admit we needed help.)

These past few years, we have been guided by our heart. We believe we were being led by a force much higher than ourselves who does not have to live in this 3D world in which most of us reside. We have been God’s hands and His voice, sometimes not even understanding the effects of our actions. We have trusted that God would provide, and the Almighty has definitely provided when we needed help in the past. In our travels, we have encountered human angels and I hope we have been human angels to those we have met along the way.

Today, I finally admitted that I have to allow others to be human angels, too. We can all play a part in this movie that has been produced and directed for us by something that cannot be defined, something that created all and sees all. Something that is defined as the Great I Am.

He is truly the ultimate Director. Will you play a part in His blockbuster or will you decide to be part of the audience, instead? Will you stop to help the man with the overheated engine on the side of the road? Will you give the lost tourist directions he can actually understand? Will you call you grandmother and remind her about the time you gave her the ceramic handprint in kindergarten?

Or, even more importantly, will you admit that you need help so that someone else can play the part of your angel?

Much love, my friends,

The Dragonfly’s Student