As we begin 2013, I have found my spirit creeping into a melancholy place. Amongst many things, I realize that it has been almost seven months since I’ve traveled overseas. Perhaps I should attribute my gypsy spirit to my Hungarian ancestry. – Or, maybe the frosty guise of the earth in Western New York’s wintry spell, exposed beneath a lid of bleak grey sky, has led me to a despondent state. Winter is a time of hibernation and rest, which gives way for self-reflection and contemplation. This is a subtle gift of sorts. If approached with perspicacity, it can open one to growth in previously unforeseeable ways, as the chill of winter inevitably transforms into the newness of spring.
Gratefulness has always been a powerful concept for me. My emotions have never been shielded beneath a very thick barrier. When feelings are present, be it anger, hurt, joy, or any number of fleeting thoughts, my eyes will almost immediately disclose them, and my urge is to express them, even though I often cannot, nor, perhaps, should I. Gratefulness is what grounds me most during these moments. It reminds me that the simple joys of being alive, such as my health, my loyal and beautiful friends, and the experiences I’ve been bestowed with in my life are gifts. Gratefulness takes my focus away from my yearnings, my perception of life’s losses and what is lacking, and shifts my awareness to a place of abundance and contentment. This may only last a few moments. I may need to remind myself to revisit this place often, but every moment of peace creates a glimpse of a potential opportunity, so, I frequent there whenever I can.
In celebration of the New Year, I have unearthed some of my old photos from my previous travels, which I share here with you. Indeed, I have had some amazing life experiences, and there are bound to be many, many more to come. Perhaps next time, I will even see you somewhere along my journey.
2004 – I traveled to Lhasa, Tibet, Chengdu, China, and Qing Chen Shan, China. This trip was planned through Rebecca Kali, a Qigong Master and owner of the Dao of Well-Being. I will never forget the magical Tibetan landscape, or the smiling faces of the people. Although eight years ago feels like a lifetime, almost, I recall these moments as if I was just there. Rebecca creates the opportunity for people to visit this exotic, and not often traveled to place. For more information about Rebecca’s amazing journeys, visit her website at: www.dao-of-well-being.com
2006 – During this year, I took a group of Massage students and graduates from FLCC’s Therapeutic massage program to Hangzhou, China to study TuiNa massage in a hospital environment. We also traveled to Beijing to visit the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, and we spent a couple of days in the majestic Yellow Mountains (Huang Shan). I traveled to these same locations in 2005 with one of my then graduate professors, Darlene Easton, and a group of her Acupuncture students from New York Chiropractic College. Most of these photos are from the 2006 trip that I took with my massage students and graduates:
2011-2012 – Of course, I’ve shared many photos of my visit to perhaps my favorite destination of all: Thailand. One place I visited last June that I did not mention, however, is a beautiful resort northwest of Chiang Mai in a town named Maerwin. The name of this destination spa is Panviman Chiang Mai Resort, and it is absolutely breathtaking. I traveled here with the group of FLCC graduates who were in Thailand with me in 2012. The owner/administrator of the SVG Thai Massage Training Center, Parawat Poungpiam, designed this breathtaking resort. If you have the amazing opportunity to visit Thailand, I highly recommend taking the trip north to experience this place. For more information, visit the website at www.panviman.com.