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TOP 10 REASONS TO CRUISE WITH OMAG AND HAL

You may not even realize when your life follows a certain rhythm or vibration, nor do you always recognize if it’s the right path. You just follow because life keeps moving. I knew I had been feeling squirmy, but couldn’t define why, or whether it was a chronic Gemini squirminess or something brought on by a significant event. While I’ve set out into the PJ Wilderness, I’d gotten a bit stuck with setting aside time for myself and where to go next.

The universe works in amazing ways and O, The Oprah Magazine (OMag) responded with an inspirational offering. Not only was O Mag setting up an amazing collaboration with Holland America Line (HAL) cruises, but Oprah would be on the inaugural excursion. I booked my cruise to force “me time” with the goal to unstick myself and map out my internal topography (with the help of her team of experts)! Before I set sail, I already received the gift of 9 other #OMagInsiders coming along for a shared adventure!


Each day offered O-mazing programs featuring O Mag key staff and Soul Session experts on top of amazing already-scheduled HAL cruise programming. Some guests showed up with specific things that they wanted to focus on, some wished to change their perspective or sharpen their focus. I feel that everyone got what they hoped for!


On the last evening, creative director Adam Glassman and publisher Jayne Jamison did their top 10 favorite moments. As with all of their events on board, while they did a great job with the front-end show, we were being showered with secondary benefits!


So here is my Top 10 list for why this should be your next cruise (it’s ok if you take a break from reading to book your Adventure of Your Life Shared Adventure!):


Receiving the Messages – We all love sharing inspirational posts and photos, but receiving messages from peers like author Glennon Doyle, who walked through fires to receive and formulate such messages carries more significance. They’ve done the work to help hand you new skills or perspective for whatever challenges you.


Rewiring Personal Programming – Receiving life-altering messages using multiple senses helped them sink in. We weren’t just watching an Oprah show or listening to podcasts, we were participating in the activity! A profound connection between movement and spirituality was felt through morning yoga and when we got pumped up with Angela Davis! So grab those SuperSoul Conversations podcasts while heading out on a walk to help you keep moving in the right direction!


Resetting One’s Clock – On board, life’s usual deadlines don’t apply, but if you’d told me I’d be up at 7am for morning meditation and yoga with Sara Ivanhoe before I left, I’d have said, I’ll just meditate from the comfort of my bed. But I did it (except for 1 morning) and it started my day on a brighter path with stronger backbone having done that for myself first.

Captain Werner Timmers hosted us in the Bridge!

Starting from Scratch – When you set foot on the cruise, you can be who you’d like, authentically! No matter where we traveled from, how many cruises we’d been on before, what we do for work, we are all humans with hearts and souls! The ship’s captain, O Mag staff of all levels, the best-selling book authors, celebrities and cruisers all mingled together, chatted with and listened to each other. Everyone was intent on really getting to know and celebrate each other more than I’ve ever felt cruising on previous trips where we’d pass like ships in the night, on a ship – well, you know…


Crossing Boundaries – I’m not just talking about those requiring a passport, I’m talking about your internal boundaries! I dove head-first from a top my greatest fears into a thimbleful of confidence to strut in white jeans and heels across the Grand Stage in front of hundreds of cruisers in the Love That! fashion show! (Worth it!). Pinch me! We even wound up on O Mag’s social media!


Diving Deep – Though it’s easy for me to brainstorm and suggest how to help others or talk enthusiastically about other things I love, I don’t have the same skills when selling myself. India Arie helped start the SongVersation and now I can’t stop talking. Today, I’m appearing today on my first radio show TravelBagsWithAnnita.com!


Receiving Daily Gifts – While the O Mag turn-down gifts were amazing, the true gifts were confidence, calm, collaboration, and camaraderie! All of which had higher levels upon leaving the boat than when I boarded thanks to trying things I might not have tried without this cruise!


Increasing your Circle of Friends – One of the best parts of this trip was cruising and rooming with people I’d only met online through this fabulous group I get to be a part of, this year, the #OMagInsiders. Additionally, thanks to searching #OMagonHAL we can see everyone’s vacation photos and celebrate the time shared. Our friendship network now spans the globe.


Celebrating Variety – While we all have similar mindsets to live our best lives or help others live theirs, we all present and carry out that vision in diverse individual ways! Plus it was wonderful to be in an environment to celebrate the various stories of people daring to follow their hearts, which may be interpreted much differently by people too wrapped up in the daily grind on shore!

Eating Dessert First (or two dinners) – On a cruise, your self-regulating rules relax, or should, because (all together now!): Life Is too short! Enjoy dessert, have steak and lobster, dance into the wee hours, sing at the top of your lungs in the dueling piano bar, and go for all-night pizza! It’s the best-tasting meal because it’s seasoned with life!


Bonus: Paying it Forward – Once the cruise ends, how does one retain the warm glow from your life-changing trip? By setting time aside for yourself to implement your new skills and put your spin on what you’ve learned before sharing with others! Paint and sprinkle Kindness Rocks throughout your community, send snail mail, volunteer with your favorite charity, spread random acts of kindness, be an active offline friend! Your fulfillment will exceed the level of gratitude of those receiving your efforts.

The Shared Adventure continues through 2018! Check out where they’ll be and I hope to meet you there! Now I’m squirmy for my next adventure!

 

#OMagInsiders #HollandAmericaLine #HAL #OMagazine #Oprah #TheKindnessRocksProject #TravelBagsWithAnnita #AdamGlassman #LoveChicos #Chicos #LiveYourBestLife #YearOfAdventure #ShareTheAdventure #AdventureOfYourLife #Cruise #Alaska #Eurodam #CaptainTimmers

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47. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU NOTICED THE SOUND OF YOUR OWN BREATHING?

From the second I opened the office door late last week, the din of heavy traffic welcomed me as my boss headed directly towards me with a smile. I ducked out of his way waving pleasantries as he passed through. I’d deposited my purse in the drawer, unlocked the computer, when suddenly he reappeared.  Quickly, I jumped into the traffic flow to get some answers. Finally, upon returning to my desk, parking myself in the seat, a large cleansing breath escaped my lips startling me! I joked to my co-pilot, that it was far too early for that.

...and repeat.

…and repeat.

Apparently the distress and detox yoga dvd that my daughter and I did the night before couldn’t hold back the combination of work, life and finals. During the video, careful care was taken to feature the gal’s diaphragm demonstrating correct inhaling and exhaling form.  Apparently we weren’t focused enough on breathing because my daughter noticed, before I commented, that the video focused a majority of the time on the girl’s boobies – from every angle.

Finally, for my make-believe half-marathon training – which will come to life when my class work ends next Tuesday – I’ve started climbing the stairs at work when possible.  Even when I trained 6 days a week for a ½ ironman, stairs still always winded me.  So to counter this, I started my marathon breathing to climb the stairs.  Two quick breaths in, two quick breaths out and this results in me restoring the ability to speak faster than usual.

No, I get it, the point is, when did I just sit alone with myself and focus on my breathing? I also am aware that things will leap off the page to you when you need them the most. The tricky part is that one receives and applies the advice in a timely manner.  So today, you have my word, after finishing voiceover for one finals project and before diving into my draft of my finals paper for my other class, I will drop off my kids, retreat to my favorite corner of the world, let the sunshine hit my face, the caffeine course through my veins, and let the breaths come slow and steady.

Unlimited fresh air and perspective to inhale!

Unlimited fresh air and perspective to inhale!

Check out the other 50 Questions

AND I THOUGHT VERNAL EQUINOX HAD TO DO WITH HORSE RACING…

At my old job, a work memo discussed mercury going into retrograde and how attention to detail must be increased during this time. I never understood how dropping temperatures negatively impacted our accuracy. Another worldly event I lacked clarity on was vernal equinox, which I guessed announced a special spring running of the horses, like at the Derby, only not in Kentucky.

Equin = horse, no?!
Photo from grit.com

Before you write me off as a complete ninnyhammer, I’m smart enough to recognize people’s facial expressions when I might be slightly off the mark. As usual, I researched. Since tonight (starting at 1:14am EST Tuesday/11:15pm PST Monday) signifies the start of the Vernal Equinox, I wanted to know its significance, what holidays originate from it, and how we celebrate it?

YOU may know, astrology.com defines Vernal Equinox as Spring Vernal Equal Equi Night nox. It’s the most balanced day of the year comparing the length of the day and night.

Based on Earth's path and positioning (tilt) the length of day and night will be the same twice a year. Photo: blippitt.com

Technically, it kicks off the Spring, but I already can’t wait for the glorious summer days to grow longer so the vibrant sunsets wait until after I’ve gotten home, grabbed a picnic, and hit the beach!

At work, a professor told me his culture celebrated its New Year tonight! Many celebrate new starts, or fertility leading to new life! Easter and Passover celebrate being born again and new starts. One Mayan Equinox celebration shared on timeanddate.com that I’d love to witness (depending on the accuracy of their calendar) occurs when the incredibly specific construction of the Mayan Pyramid – El Castillo “releases” a large serpent of sunshine descending the stairs.

Mayan Pyramid El Castillo sends out (gulp!) sunlight snakes!
Photo: willandbeyond

I decided to celebrate the most-balanced day with my first at-home yoga experience. I will report tomorrow on whether my findings support the theories of increased balance or the experts, who disagree. LA Times suggested additional tests.

It’s True! You CAN balance an egg on its end during the Vernal Equinox!

Witness - the magical egg! I thought of reproducing this test using 2 adolescents then thought better...

It’s True! I CAN’T verify that it wasn’t possible before tonight until after it’s over.

Egg in its natural resting state!

It’s True! A broom stands alone! If only I could get it to retrieve water from the well!

No fishwire, no weird props - just exceptional balance!

Bottom line, Spring has Sprung! What will you do to celebrate? What new start do you have planned?

I FOUND THE PAUSE BUTTON FOR LIFE!

Please go to bed so Mommy can meditate!

All day I was jazzed and energized all day with the anticipation of reaching new levels of consciousness!  Suddenly at 10pm with my kids finally in bed, I’m hurrying to meditate under duress complete the task by today! My mind settles knowing I need it after cracking the homework whip.  I set my timer for 15 minutes, so I can check something off my To-Do list.

Sitting on the floor, my couch supports my back for comfort (or safety). I promise to stretch more as I tie myself into sitting position. The best I can do is sit cross-legged. My elbows rest on my knees, my hands gently together.

I wing it and go silent this first time. No iGuru, just my breathing and the flame visual. After false starts, I shut my eyes and “look upward” through my 3rd eye (or Magic Eye because it feels like those books where one focuses into the picture when my eyes suddenly focus inward). I can’t say I see other worlds, but my eyes feel open to possibilities not shut in my mind.

The clock on the wall intrusively passes time. Flame visuals evade me so I focus on breathing.  I slow my breathing and let each exhale carry negative feelings away, then good vibrations enter when I inhale.  I take more than my share of TLC with each yawn.  I find myself running through vivid dreams but they dissolve when I stop to glance further.

My only thought is that I’m too tired tonight. My body leans and my shoulders are up by my ears, so I lengthen my spine and posture. My mom would be proud. I am stubborn and don’t open my eyes early.

With a startling tone, I am surprised that 15 minutes passed.  I can’t measure the time spent, more like I hit pause briefly. It felt like a mini mental vacation and my nagging lists, always present, never got a word in edgewise!  I will try again one morning for less fidget, more enlightenment!  As with training, the key is to show up for it, regularly. Do you meditate to clear your head for the day or to unwind from it?