When Life Presents You With A Mountain, Put On Your Climbing Shoes And Start Climbing

 

When life gives you a mountain, put on your climbing shoes and start climbing! As a young girl I was adventurous, wanted to bungy jump off a cliff, jump out of a plane, scale a rock wall, etc….Then somewhere along the journey as I entered adulthood I formed a fear of heights. Maybe it was the time my husband, small son and I were hiking in Zion National Park.

We found ourselves on the hiking path high above the ground, entering what I referred to as, “The Point of No Return” zone. In order to continue, you had to hug the cliff wall and carefully slide your feet across the narrow floor space, all while being one step away from becoming the evening’s tragic news story. I DID NOT want to continue. I remember my son who was a mere 5 years old at the time saying, “Come on Mama, you can do it! See its not bad!” as he scooted around the ledge. I thought I was going to hurl breakfast seeing him move. Vertigo set in, I was in “full mode” fear.

When I realized I would be sitting there alone waiting for them to return from the rest of the hike, I sucked it up and moved. Fear had enveloped every single inch of my body, the feeling was intense to say the least. But I did it, I made it around the corner. We all made it out that day without becoming the news, thank God! What strikes me today is what was on the other side. The amazing views, the striking rock formations, the waterfalls, it was by far a trip to forever remember. If you have never experienced Zion, add it to your bucket list. We have been back a few times. I could live there if they would let me, it is so majestic. I feel God’s presence in HD when I am there.

So I write this story today because life places mountains in front of us often. Some big, some small, and whatever the size if we chose to scale these obstacles we will be forever changed by what is revealed on the other side.

This week I had small obstacles blocking my way, discouraging me from moving past them. It felt as if someone was standing high above me and throwing boulders one by one in front of my path saying, “I’ll stop her! What does she think she is trying to do? You can’t do that?” Who do you think you are? (that one AGAIN) It was getting the best of me. I prayed, I journal-ed, I honored my quiet God time. Thank goodness for my wonderful supportive husband, he seems to always know when to encourage me, when to joke with me (and when to not! ha ha!), or when to give me a much needed hug and say “I love you”.

What I discovered about myself through this boulderfest was that sometimes I need to take a step back. Take a breath and slow it down. Look inside and decipher what is creating the fear. What is getting me hung up. In today’s world we expect everything instantly. We live in a world where everything is at your fingertips in warp speed. It can be a positive and a negative. For me, I needed to hit “pause” and stop and look at what I had already accomplished in order to get myself back on track and equipped to overcome the obstacles.

I put on my climbing shoes and my “I will conquer” attitude. I took one step up the mountain, one reach here, one foot there. Like a climber I assessed my options, took careful note of my surroundings and where I would make my very next move. To much amazement I scaled my mountain successfully. I had a very productive AND peaceful day. I allowed myself to step back from the situation and assess. I conquered and what was revealed on the other side gave me hope and a feeling of gratitude for trusting in God’s way and not fear’s way.

So I encourage you today to scale your mountain whatever it may be. Get back up if you have fallen into the pit of discouragement. Put on your climbing shoes and “can do” attitude, for what will be revealed on the other side with take your breath away. It is better to try and discover than worry and wonder.

 

 

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Wine Country: Chateau St. Jean

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 Chateau St. Jean Estate Winery: 8555 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452

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My sister & I share the same birthday in July, 3 years apart. She is the younger one (lucky her!). There is a name for this, Iris Twins, we call ourselves “distant twins” as we are so much alike we could be twins, and of course we both love wine! We wanted to celebrate together in a special way & with our two amazing husbands so we planned a trip to wine country in sunny California this past July. I had lived in Southern California but had never made it to wine country. Not sure how that was possible considering my love of wine and Northern Cali.

We planned 6 months in advance, booked a VRBO home in Sonoma, booked flights and a rental car. Then counted down the days, hours, minutes….It. was. amazing. Just too short of a trip! So in celebration of wine & wine country I am sharing about the wineries we visited. And after the devastating fires in California, I wanted to encourage travelers to head to wine country and help support the amazing industry of wine growers in California. Today I am featuring the beauty of Chateau St. Jean. *Note, a part of this winery did sustain some damage sadly and they are presently closed at the date of this posting, they do hope to open in the near future, so please check their current status and consider visiting!

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Chateau St. Jean by far has the most exquisite grounds. Inspired by estate gardens reminiscent of the South of France. Standing under the massive outreaching trees as the sun filtered through the branches with brilliance was utterly breathtaking. As we strolled through the grounds, you could hear birds chirping, see butterflies fluttering all about the greenery, and feel the warmth of the California sun. Paradise. The elegant chateau takes you back to the 1920s era.

We first entered the main wine tasting room (room is an understatement) and were greeted by the friendly staff. Here they offer a Premium Wine Tasting of 4 wines for $15 pp. There is plethora of wine merchandize, hand crafted goods, and gourmet goodies. I could have browsed in here for an hour easily.

We were then informed the Chateau’s Vineyard Room across the grounds offered a Reserve Tasting featuring 5 reserve & limited wines for $25 pp. The architecture in this building was regal at best with its exquisite wood paneling lining the staircase and walls. French doors opened to an expansive, elegant patio with the most amazing views of vineyards & estate grounds.¬†20170726_131832 - Copy

A third offering available was the Wine & Cheese Pairing. We could enjoy this on the patio while taking in the views. Offered at $35 pp. My sister and I were very interested in this one, but we had wanted to head out further to hit up other wineries and come back here. Unfortunately that didn’t happen but I will say, on our next wine country visit this is a must! Chateau St. Jean is by far one of my favorite vineyards for their amazing grounds, architecture and friendly staff.thumbnail_20170726_130250 - Copythumbnail_20170726_125841 - CopyIMG_0773 - CopyIMG_0721 - Copy

So, here I go…

So, here I go, blog post numero uno. What thoughts come to mind? Apprehension. Vulnerability. Out there. Exposed..oh no what in the heck did I just get myself into???! O.K. now that I put that out there, here goes….

Me new do

I am an artist, a designer, a nature lover, foodie of sorts (isn’t everybody nowadays?), a visionary, a dreamer, and a closet writer. Now I can add blogger to my list! I have wanted to do this for years, but now that everyone else is doing it I thought, am I crazy? Why bother? I will be lost in the endless sea of bloggers on the Web. But my inner longings of my creative soul will no longer be kept dormant as I do have a voice.

What will I blog about? All things divinely inspired. You see as an artist and visionary I am always thinking, contemplating, dreaming, and so those things need to come out of my heart & head or I just may spontaneously com-bust! Will anyone read my blog? I don’t know that answer yet. But I do know I must purge my soul longings for my own sanity!

I have in the past been apprehensive about this blog thing.¬† The soul bullies come knocking and tell me, “So you think you are a writer, heh? What do you have to share or say? You have to have it all figured out first. You are not good enough.”…Oh, that last one! How many of us have heard that loud voice?

So this is where my 2 cents begins. Recently I read an amazing book that changed me. It opened up a part of me that has been dormant, pushed down and kept in a secure, protected place. Over the course of my life I have become more accustomed to playing it safe and in doing so, I have sacrificed a part of who I really am. I think many of us can relate. I have spent a lifetime of trying and striving to create an image and it has been exhausting… when all along God said, “You have an identity in Me that has already been designed. Discover it Diane. It is yours for the taking.”

I want to share about life experiences good & bad that have changed me. I want to share about things that I love; nature, family & friend time, art, my business adventures….did I leave out wine?… I hope that in using this platform I can inspire another soul to reach deep down inside and discover your dormant self and unleash it. After all, each one of us has something to offer this world. Go out and claim it!