The Great Beahan Adventure

Our oldest daughter, Sarah, her hubbie, Brian and their loyal dog, Emmett, have started out on a modern day Odyssey to find a new home, new work and new life and they are blogging about it  – The Great Beahan Adventure.

Most of you might already be reading about their muses as they travel. Their Statcounter quit counting for free after 500 followers. Amazing, right?!

I’ve been thinking about their journey and what it means to everyone who is following them along the way. I know some of the following is just to keep up with their journey, but I think many of the followers are traveling with them in spirit for a different reason.

I believe many are intrigued with the risk and the humility entailed in being totally open to what the road offers. But, I also think it stirs a deep yearning within many readers that does not need to go unaddressed just because the time and resources are not available for a cross-country journey.

I invite those of us who are feeling like we are sharing the desire to explore life’s unknown possibilities to look within ourselves. Everyday our lives and our hearts offer us the chance to travel down the “road less taken” whether in thought or deed. Every day we have the opportunity to do more of the same or to make choices that can lead to wonderful new levels of creativity, compassion and contribution beyond our wildest dreams. Every day we have the opportunity to connect with new people, initiating a real connection that fosters more openness in our own hearts. It does involve stepping out of our comfort zones and exploring paths that may lead us to places in our minds and hearts we either shut off or have never known. But that is the excitement of the adventure of our lives.

Thanks, Sarah, Brian and Emmett for reminding us of the promise our lives can offer if we choose to pursue our personal exploration.

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Soaring with a new opportunity!

My whole life I’ve always tried to look the best I could because that has helped me to feel good about myself. Moving to Wyoming has helped me to step that up a couple of notches. I’ve grown my hair out. I lost a couple of dress sizes and I’m wearing new fun glasses. And at least five days a week I walk almost four miles a day for my mental and physical well-being.

My friends and family say I look happier than I’ve been in a very long time. Of course, being around my wee granddaughter, Elly, and her family helps keep me smiling.

But there has been a down side to my move. I’ve found the dry, windy weather will test the best of any skin product. My skin has really gotten a lot drier and more prone to wrinkles than it ever was living in the humid state of Missouri.

Of course this issue concerned me and I started trying different skin products to rectify my new skin challenges to no avail. Then I met Jennifer Wetherbee, our tour guide at the Wyoming Whiskey Distillery. She had an inviting, fun personality and fabulously smooth skin. As I got to know her I sound out she was a consultant for a skin solution company called Rodan and Fields (R&F).

She introduced me to the products slowly, without any hard sales pitch. I could see the skin solutions worked from the before and after pictures I saw on her Facebook page.

But even more importantly, Jennifer introduced me to the business opportunity that consultants can take advantage of by joining this up and coming skin solution company. R&F was founded on the incredible success of Drs. Rodan and Fields’ Pro Active product line. I learned about the potential of joining this five-year-old company and my gut said “get in now!”

Even though I have not been in direct sales for 40 years I am excited about the possibilities of starting my own R&F business as this ground level company is taking off. And I get to help my clients feel good about themselves in the process.

Ultimately, I see this as a way to spread my wings in a way I have not been able to do in the health policy world. I can’t wait to share this business opportunity and the effective products with others.

And the beauty of this new business venture much of it can happen right through social media. WOW!

Exciting stuff here! Stay tuned for how it unfolds!

A new frontier

A few months ago I was talking about casting a bigger net. And as the months passed since I wrote that blog I did just that. I allowed myself to be open to the possibilities of relocating, of doing something I had never done before, to explore unchartered personal territory.
And then I just remained open – waiting for what the Divine had in mind for me….waiting and waiting and waiting. I have to admit that was easier said than done. I mean, I’ve been a very goal oriented individual, and I can be incredibly impatient. Plus, I’ve been schooled in how to manifest my goals with affirmations and visualization. And after reading Tosha Silver’s Outrageous Openness I let that go and just let God take over my life. (Truly it was a process that did not happen overnight.)
My prayers became prayers like: “Hey, You know what I want, You know what I need, and You also know what is best for me. I trust You to show me the way.”
And of course, my mantra maybe as many as 100 times a day was “right time, right place, right for me and the human race.”
It’s funny, because as the months passed, the positions I thought I REALLY had a chance at never materialized. I was puzzled, but kept throwing the whole ball of wax up to the Divine.
But, you know you start to have a feeling that something really is going to happen soon. I started to get that feeling in September. Marty felt that way too, so we decided to go out to Cheyenne to see our kids before I started whatever job was coming my way.
As it turns out, on a whim, I applied for a job with an organization very similar to the Center for Health Policy but in Cheyenne. I was called for an interview and was hired while we were visiting, then drove back to Missouri, then back to Cheyenne within a week. What a whirlwind!
Interestingly while we were driving out to Cheyenne, Marty and I both commented — once the country-side along I-80 started looking like the high plains — that we felt freer – like we could breathe better. And truthfully, I think that is what this new job and this move is all about – it is about freedom and exploration – an adventure cause we are never too old for an adventure, never too old to explore new frontiers where our spirits can fly.
As I think about it I realize the process of “letting go and letting God” was the foundation of this freedom.
I’m smiling because life and the Divine are so full of surprises!
And now my life mentor is a tiny little girl who is so full of love and joy that she reminds me each and every day where my spirit needs to be.

Casting a bigger net

I’m not sure what to attribute my expanded vision of reality these days. For so many years I felt like my aspirations were limited by the responsibilities of being a parent and a very significant behind the scenes support in my husband’s business. But times have changed.

I gave up my long standing career at the University of Missouri when Marty’s health was compromised while I was working there. And looking back, that was the beginning of my freedom. I stepped into a position at a nonprofit that built on the expertise I was developed while working at the Center for Health Policy. I was fortunate enough to always work with and for people who encouraged me to grow and stretch my potential. I am so grateful for that. But leaving the “lifer” career path broke the shackles that could have held me there.

And then I took a two year hiatus, to make up for lost time while Marty was fighting his battle with cancer and its aftermath. We took time together to regroup and to travel – and I took the time to write and write and write. Of course, my blogs and Healthy Mom Healthy Me are the products of that hiatus.

As they say time heals, and I feel energized by all the experiences I’ve had along this journey. For 28 days I’ve been posting something that makes me happy each day, and truthfully, I wish I could capture more happiness with the camera. Oftentimes it is not on my person when I behold JOY in the making. Life feels really good these days.

But I digress. I am feeling like I want to expand my horizon to do work that is fun, valuable and meaningful for me. I am ready to spread my wings – to explore the idea of working in a different industry, a different city. I am ready for the risk and for the challenge.

As I look to the future I am casting a bigger net – opening up to new experiences and new places. I am ready and willing. Let the new opportunities roll.

Big shift

I started a new part-time job this past week. I am working at a wonderful nursery on a sunny hillside in Howard County. I go to work every day in jeans and comfy walking shoes, grab some gloves and immerse my hands and my focus in the dirt.
I do love the writing part of my life now, but it is very solitary and can be lonely at times. And a writer needs a variety of experiences to nurture the creative process. I started asking myself what kind of environment would be low stress, fun, offer lots of time outdoors, feed my longing to be around color and texture, and provide human interaction. Working at Vintage Hill Farm provided the ticket to all those requirements.
I love, love, love being around flowers, watching them grow, touching them as tiny babies, coaxing the dirt to hug them in their pots. The weather on the days I’ve worked has been spring-like, a breeze there to blow the sweat that comes with pushing garden carts and working in the sunny greenhouse.
There are corgis, young Labradors, horses, peacocks, chickens and cattle on the periphery of the nursery lot. I work with a bunch of nice people who like each other and like plants. My bench buddy’s name is Megan. She is a kindred spirit for sure – an artist and outdoors person who is interested in learning about all kinds of things – a student of life just like me.
I drive to work in the exact opposite direction of everyone else on Highway 40 in the morning. I think I had one car in front of me on the drive to work my first day. This is vastly different than beating it on I-70 to work each day. What a relief!
And I am unplugged! I don’t need the phone — my boss is right there is give my next assignment………..it is amazing how freeing that is.
My spirit is unwinding with each day. And whose wouldn’t with nature and color and meditative work to lull any other unease away?
I am so grateful for the perfect balance in my life right now.

Something has broken

Image

 

My river revealed something about my spiritual journey today. It was gorgeous outside, 55 degrees and windy – the sun shining brightly overhead. As I was walking I noticed the last remnants of the frigid temperatures we experienced these past few weeks floating along in chunks down the river.

I knew immediately what the Universe was trying to tell me. During the severe winter weather I was outside of my comfort zone visiting my daughter, Beth, and her family in Cheyenne, WY. All the little ways that I feed my spirit while at home were not really part of my daily routine there.

My day was filled with engaging with my delightful little granddaughter, Elly, who just turned one year old this week! Beth and I had lots of time to talk, cook together and drink wine. That felt good and her sensitive nature provided a safe place for me to just let my spirit flow in ways it doesn’t at home.

Over the five weeks of my visit I found myself crying – crying a lot. I mean I hardly ever cry. It was like something was unleashed, a floodgate was broken. Wow! My sister has always told me I am one of those people who have a VERY delayed emotional reaction for all traumatic things that occur in my life.

I know this, but I had no idea I had such a need to let my emotions flow. Well, actually I didn’t allow them to be released – they just gushed out.

And guess what? I feel lighter and happier and more open than I have felt in a long time — wow, that baggage was weighing my shoulders down!

Truly the publication of Healthy Mom Healthy Me started a new chapter in my life. The book takes the negativity of the whole cancer struggle we endured and births something new from what we learned. That birth invites others to share in the lessons that we learned along the way.

Perhaps my tears are not only ones that were never shed while in the midst of those lessons, but also are tears of happiness for the birth of something wonderful in my life. Just like the breaking of the amniotic fluid helps bring the new baby into the world.

So when I saw my river today I could relate to her, as she flows along – those solid ice barriers melted with the warmth of the sun. She looks like she is returning to her beautiful, flowing self.

The very special love that was showered on me in Cheyenne must have done the same thing.

And I am grateful for that.

 

Fear of being out in front

Isn’t it interesting how every opportunity, every challenge in our lives can be a way to learn more about ourselves? This realization hit me smack between the eyes, again, as I started to put the Healthy Mom Healthy Me marketing plan into place.
The plan involves videotaped recordings of me talking about the book and why I wrote it which will then be posted on my web site. Of course, it also involves radio and television interviews when the time comes.
I have to tell you, thinking about being videotaped made me feel REALLY anxious!
Over the past 20 years I made a practice of staying out of the spotlight. All the years I was in media relations I made every effort to get a “real expert” to be the spokesperson for the media. I spent a good deal of time coaching my “experts” to be prepared for the reporter’s questions. And I thanked every one of them profusely, knowing they did me a big favor in more ways than one.
I’ve thought about this a lot as I’ve dedicated myself to my new life – the work I want to do because it is MY passion, not someone else’s. I realized I no longer would be my boss’ handmaiden. I am now using all my energy to promote and support the work I love. This is a first for me and sometimes this new attitude leaves me feeling SCARED! What if I do it wrong??? I guess it boils down to the fact that I will only have myself to blame.
But on the other hand, it is challenging to take the risk to overcome my self-doubt in order to reap whatever comes my way in the process.
And isn’t all of life just one big process? We reach our goals only to start all over again, like the Fool in the Tarot Deck. Each new chapter offers us new lessons to learn about ourselves – if we choose to learn.
When I think of it this way I feel comforted that this fear of being in front of the camera is just another part of my journey to become all that I can be while here on this earth.
I am choosing this lesson or it would not be part of my life right now. Somehow that makes it seem easier for me. Whew, what a relief to have thought this through with you!
Thanks.

Dancing in the streets

book cover
I’m doing a happy dance out here in Wyoming right now! My first published book, Healthy Mom Healthy Me, is officially on the shelves of Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Balboa Press!
It is so interesting to feel like a mother giving birth all over again. This baby, a book I wrote, has been a dream for over 40 years. And its publication represents a milestone in my life.
For years I have written all kinds of different genre – newspaper articles, legislative speeches, tons of press releases, grant applications, and marketing pieces to promote the organizations for which I was employed. In essence, I have always written copy for someone else.
I learned so much by exposing myself to all of these writing opportunities. But, I have always felt unfulfilled, emotionally sort-of-flat, after putting so much time and energy into these pieces.
In my heart of hearts I always felt this nagging desire to write what rings true to me, for readers I wanted to reach. And there was never enough time or energy to do that.
I finally am at that place in my life to be able to listen to my heart. And Healthy Mom Healthy Me is my first book on this new life’s journey.
This book is based on my own life experience – having traversed an emotional roller coaster when Marty was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. I had to really call on the most tried and true self-help lessons I learned throughout my years of studying these things to stay grounded and as positive as possible.
Marty made it and so did I.
And as the Universe so often does, I was offered the opportunity to take those lessons and put them in simple language for a young audience. That is how Healthy Mom Healthy Me was conceived. My hope is that it helps young children and their families deal with a mother’s illness in a constructive and creative way.
If one of your friends in Cheyenne texts you and says they just saw a woman with brown hair wearing a brown parka dancing down the street, you’ll know who they are talking about……. 

Web site in the making

The clock has just struck 3:30 pm here in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am sitting in front of big picture window on the third floor of the Laramie County Library, my view of the dome on the Wyoming capitol couldn’t be better. I’ve been writing copy for my new web site – gwenratermann.com.
It’s kind of interesting to think about how I want to present myself online. I mean, I am already presenting myself online to all of you through my blogs, but this could be a bit different. Or maybe not.
What I am finding is that I want to keep it simple and straight forward, the way that I generally am. I want to link directly with my friends and followers with no fluff. I just want to be me in web site form.
My life in marketing and public relations makes me acutely aware of how words and images can make us more than we are. So, I am keeping all the copy direct and easy to read. I want to there without seeming to be pretentious or verbose. I hope I am hitting the mark.
As I have said in so many meetings over the past few years, “I just need to be honest here.” That is what this web site needs to feel like.
Once it is up and running you can let me know.

Reflecting on Life’s Lessons

As Thanksgiving approaches we all start to think about all the many things for which we are thankful. It is the one holiday that focuses on family and values without all the consumer hype. But, most people also can be sidetracked by their garden variety of troubles. And sometimes those troubles can cloud our view keeping us from seeing the beauty that always present in our lives.
When a friend or family member bemoans the challenges they face I tell them about a Jewish folk tale I read in one of Elie Weisel’s books. The story goes that every year a small village gets together to share what fortunes they have experienced throughout the last 12 months. There is a tree in the middle of the village and each family writes their biggest challenges and folds the piece of paper up and hangs it on the tree. After everyone is finished, each family has the opportunity to read the papers their neighbors have hung on the tree – and choose that family’s challenge to face instead. And yearly, each family ends up choosing their own.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that was the moral of this story. It read: Life’s the school, Love’s the lesson.
As I think back on this year, and the almost 10 decades I have lived on this planet, I see that so clearly.
I have learned so much about myself and human nature by negotiating the challenge. And if I didn’t get the lesson, I have found I run into the same types of people, the same sorts of lessons until I get it.
I like to believe I am a much wiser person today because I have risen to these challenges, and have taken the time to reflect on what the underlying lessons have been.
I am grateful for each and every one of them, no matter how scary or silly they have been. I am the person I am today because I have grown from the challenges I have encountered.
I am also thankful for you and the foundation of lessons your life is built on. Let’s celebrate each other on Thursday!