The Next Step Towards Manifesting Our Dream? Following The Popcorn Trail

Following the Popcorn Trail Towards Our Dream

In my last post, I shared a bit more of our dream to own a piece of land, and eventually become more self-sufficient.  I didn't mean to leave people hanging, as if anyone would be, however sometimes I just need to incubate.  Let life happen.  Pay attention to the signs ~ if any become clear ~ and wait.  Patiently wait.  Wait until something seems compelling enough to move me/us forward.

Well, that something seems to have happened.  I'll explain what in a bit.

I believe that a chain of events gets set in motion as a result of our making a committed declaration  to improving our lives.  The Grand Universe and Creator of synchronous events takes over handling the details.  All that was needed was for us to show up, and declare our intent.

What follows will be a popcorn trail of inspired actions to take, simultaneous to intermittent emotional upheavals or obstacles (how much depends on how much inner work one has already done) that will test our commitment to making the needed changes in order to get more of what it is we desire.

Sometimes, we may need to make what appears to be a big sacrifice before our bigger picture vision becomes more clear.  We essentially pay in advance for what we will receive.  And what we actually receive may look different than what we imagined.  We will always get what we need, however, our clarity of what we desire impacts what ultimately shows up.

If we have  several parts pulling us in different directions, with one part wanting one thing, and another part wanting something else, the manifestation will stall, as we need all of our parts to unify with crystal clarity for the best results.

We all have these many different parts.  The key to life is being aware of them, and learning how to maintain control, or as I've said previously, the keys to the car.  

We simply can't know the unknown, even if parts of us desperately want answers and assurances.  Parts of us want comfort and predictability.  Parts of us really resist change, yet change is the only true constant.  And some type of change is required if we are trying to obtain something we don't currently have, i.e., make a change!

Even if the better part of us is desiring the big picture dream ~ such as for us it's all about obtaining our piece of land, and all that we imagine with that ~ there may be subconscious parts that will get triggered once these parts realize that its current comfort zone is about to be rocked to the core.

While researching online for areas to eventually relocate over the last couple years, I have read many 'best of/worst of' surveys.

You know, the 'best place to live, safest place to live, best place to live for nature lovers/outdoor enthusiasts', etc. surveys that  local residents cringe seeing in print as they prefer to keep it their secret.

Suffice it to say, our primary desire was to be within a short drive, preferably 6 hours max of Don's family, yet live where it's hilly, and near beautiful old growth forests or other areas of natural beauty.  Trees and water plus proximity to family being the primary pull.  However, we were preferring to be in a location that has winter, but not endless, frigid Northern Midwestern winter.  I found many nice potential areas while reading through all those surveys.

Of the surveys I read ranking people's level of happiness, the locations where the local citizens rank high on a happiness index are often near a body of water.  Makes sense, as being near water is soothing to the soul.

Another factor in cities or towns that rank high in the happiness factor is that the area is social connections, and/or family oriented.  Families that stay together and play together produce happier communities.

A lightbulb went off in Don's head recently that, with all known variables remaining fairly constant, it seems to make the most sense to move close to family.  Not within 6 hours, or even 3 hours, but really close.  Like over the border into Southern  Michigan from Northern Ohio close.  We would be moving into a built-in network, including being near Don's previous professional contacts.

Enter parts.  One part:  "I so look forward to being near the mixed hardwood and pine trees, and water.  The Lake!  Fall!  Change of seasons, fall colors, and fresh local cherries and apples.  Cool."

Other part:  I just checked the temperature there.  It's still only 31ยบ.  It's 70s here.  Hmm.  Cold.

First part:  "Yes, but winter can be so beautiful.  We can get out and snowshoe or cross country ski again!"

Second part:  Hmm.  Cold.

And on and on.  One part loves it, one part is dubious.

So the thought occurred to me with regard to those changes that get set in motion.  Maybe some of our perceived sacrifice is a call to be of service.  Our mind makes immediate, single-pointed assumptions, jumps to conclusions, and all those somewhat inhibitory processes that happen without our conscious awareness.  Like, "No way would I live somewhere that cold again. Period."  These snap judgements could be closing doors on potentially great opportunities.

I know many living in the desert Southwest that could not fathom moving back to an area with a long winter.  We get spoiled around here.  We hardly need to turn a heater on.  We certainly never have to go outside to warm up the car to thaw it out enough to see through the frosty windshield.  And don't get me started on trying to deal with street parking during a Chicago winter.  Been there, don't want to do that again, ever.

Below are recent photos taken of our local Old Town Scottsdale area that I will miss:

Site of our wedding, almost exactly 7 years ago!

The sweet spring aromas of flowers and local trees in bloom are everywhere.

Quite the statue taken at the new(er) Museum of the West

Amazing detail.  Metal sculptures, which look like leather fringe, below.

Yet, do we hinge our lives on a decision that is solely about climate?  Ok, many of you answer with a resounding "YES!"  But, if there was a trait of mind that I would give myself a feather for, it's that I have learned that while I have historically made these types of snap judgements that lead to closing the door on many potential opportunities, I have learned to listen to the part that says, "hell no, not doing that winter thing again" but still remain open.  Maybe it won't be that bad.  Maybe there is something more important yet to be determined, above and beyond my ego parts desire to maintain a certain level of comfort.  Maybe, who knows?   So many unknowns.

Besides, half the year here is hotter than I care for.  I've actually become less heat tolerant lately.  Maybe because I no longer eat only plants, and my thyroid function has improved.  I can generate warmth internally again.

The areas with the happiest people are also areas that typically have lower crime.  So, living in an area with low crime, near a body of water, with or near one's family and strong social connections helps people feel safer and happier.  Imagine that.  

Back to the cold.  While I may have parts that are somewhat resistant to possibly returning to a wintery climate after so many years in the desert Southwest, another, more quiet voice within me has a feeling of something missing by remaining where it is more 'comfortable.'  

Missing what, you may ask?

It may in part be missing the beautiful trees which mark the passing seasons with their changing colors from spring green, to yellows, oranges, crimson reds, and finally browns.  

Missing water.  The Great Lakes are the oceans of the Midwest.  It was great growing up near the lakefront.

Missing family and tribe of origin, and an environment more similar to my own English and Polish ancestry (or Don's Hungarian, French, or German ancestry, which fortunately are similar as is often best when mating.)  I think it's in our DNA.  I believe my father's ancestry may have in part been from Shropshire County area of Great Britain ~ an area of beautiful rolling countryside.

Even missing some of that character building ~ the label we give to those who endure the cold, wintery climates.

I have a deep inner sense that we have latent resources that only become expressed out of necessity.  Nature creates adversity.  Long before our modern civilized societies, people had to be resourceful and cooperative to survive.  Families remained together in small dwellings, and had many long, dark, cold wintery nights to be together, by hearth or candlelight, enjoying the warmth of connection and family bonding.

While my mind has its thoughts about being in a long winter, I know from experience that I will acclimate to that climate because it is what I've known since my earliest days.  Needing to use air conditioning for half a year is something I've never liked.  I always feel less healthy when confined to indoor areas with forced cool air, as opposed to fresh air.  I've been relishing the cooler weather we have been enjoying locally, at least in the early mornings.

I believe it is adversity that builds our strength.  We learn more about who we really are, and what we are made of when we are put through the tests of life.  This was especially the case in our distant past.  Our ancestors no doubt had to endure many hardships.  They did endure, and we are here as a result.

Do we let our having acclimated to a desert climate ~ something quite dissimilar to our native European ancestries ~ dictate our choices?  Or are other factors more important, such as being near family?

Getting back to the beginning when I mentioned sometimes needing to let things incubate.  Let life happen.  Well, both my nephew and mother-in-law are now in a hospital.  One is in Ohio, the other overseas.  Our parents are all in their 80s.  And Don has a new grand-nephew, now one year old, whom we have yet to meet.

Perhaps the call of being near our family ~ our tribes of origin ~ is greater than our perceived change of comfort. 

Sometimes reaching for our dreams requires steps that may appear contrary to what we originally envisioned.  Sometimes we may be getting set up for a 'mission' in which we are being 'asked' to be of service, or make a sacrifice before the bigger picture dreams begin to emerge. Just step aside and let the Universe handle the details.

It isn't always just about us, and our individual needs, even if our ego says it is.   Spending our lives far from family just because we prefer a less long winter seems like a superficial choice.  Yes, it can be a big deal, but still.  Layer up.  Get over old grudges.  Family matters!

Some of us continually sacrifice too much.  That is a pathology.  Sometimes we don't sacrifice enough ~ and operate solely from selfish motives.  Somewhere in the middle is the right balance.  And like Goldilocks, we continue to experiment.  Try this....too hot.  Try that...too cold.  Soon, it will be 'just right.'

And so, a decision has been made.  However, it could still change.  But as of this moment, our next best step seems to be to relocate back to be near family.  Southern Michigan is very close, and Don has a built in network there, so it only makes sense to have that be our next destination.  Leases up at the end of summer.  One last hot summer in the desert Southwest ought to push us over the edge, all the way back East of the Mississippi, come September.  Just in time for fall colors!

It may not be where we were looking.  It may be longer winter than we preferred.  But it's just what is next, and doesn't have to be forever.

Perhaps being rooted is less about being just in one place, and more about rooting that which is of the greatest value and importance into our hearts.  Once firmly in place, we take it everywhere.  Being near family, to both support and be supported by, seems like something that has been missing for us just as much as the trees.  We are not in the soils of our ancestors, and while I appreciate much about the desert Southwest, my primary home for many years now, it just isn't 'home'.

It's time to return home.

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