May 27, 2017 by cathyfitz Inspiration, My Story 4

Memorial Day | Why and How Do We Celebrate?

Often Memorial Day brings to mind the end of the school year, beginning of summer, and opening of swimming pools. We often celebrate with picnics and other fun outdoor events with family and friends. All great things to do, just so we don’t forget the true meaning of the holiday. So what is the meaning of Memorial Day? According to Wikipedia: “Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May that honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.” As a young girl, I remember visiting cemeteries every Memorial Day to leave flowers to “decorate” graves of family members. It was a family tradition on this solemn day of remembrance to pay honor and respect even though the family members had not been service members. Annual Decoration Days are more common in the American South where people travel and gather with relatives to put flowers on graves often including a religious service and picnic or potluck type meal. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” […]

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Overcoming Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue

One great thing about traveling is that it gives you time to reflect and look at life from new perspectives. This week it got me thinking about how blessed I am to be enjoying this stage of life. I’ve had a wonderful life full of many blessings, but like many others there have been some rough patches. I prefer to go through life looking at the bright side and ignoring what isn’t going so well. However when my health and emotional well being spiraled out of control a few years ago, I was forced to take a good look at the reasons why.  Recently someone asked about my health which made me think about sharing some personal information that might be helpful to others struggling with similar issues. So instead of writing about travel in this post, here’s a little personal story. Most of my life I have been blessed with good health. I was a very fat baby – kind of like those Weebles that used to wobble but not fall down. Luckily my parents were very health conscious and gave me the gift of healthy eating and being active. After a couple of years only being allowed one serving of bread, past or mashed […]

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February 18, 2017 by cathyfitz Inspiration, My Story 6

Sim·plic·i·ty

It seems that simplicity in life should be easy. However, when life gets complex, busy, and overcomplicated it takes an effort to get back to simplicity. With so much stuff and too much to do –  Where do you start? How do you make the changes you dream of? Maybe the “simple” answer is to just start. Wherever you are, whatever your situation, make changes one step at a time.Simplicity comes with so many rewards. A few short years ago I learned the true meaning of simplicity. My life felt as if it had spun out of control and I needed to make some big changes. One thing led to another and within a period of about 18 months I sold or gave away nearly all my material possessions. What I kept literally fit into the back of my SUV. It was a process and not always easy, but in the end, it was so worth it! I felt free as a bird and literally “flew the coop” to see the world. Every chapter of my life has been unique and special, but the freedom I felt leaving my empty nest (and material possessions) behind led me to places I never […]

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February 16, 2017 by cathyfitz Inspiration, My Story 0

Be a SoulBird | Live the Life You’ve Dreamed

As I look back on the past couple of years, my life seems surreal. How did this happen? Somehow my dreams have become my reality – I really have been able to create a new life for myself. It’s not just about the travel and beautiful places I’ve been blessed to visit, but the changes inside. I feel my inner light shining full of happiness and contentment.The definition of a SoulBird by singer/songwriter India Arie truly resonates with me. “You know A SoulBird by the INTENTION with which they live their life. Us SoulBird’s are seeking to give life to our wings, and wings to our dreams, with the intention of making the world a better place, one person at a time … beginning with OURSELVES. A SoulBird can be a thinker, a dreamer, a lover, an explorer, a healer, a warrior, a spiritualist, a scientist, a seeker, an adventurer, a teacher, an artist, a helper, a doctor, a Mom, a Dad, … see the thing is, it’s not WHAT you do, but WHY you do what you do. Simply put, a SoulBird is a person living with the intentions of growing, rising up, and elevating, because we know that, […]

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January 18, 2016 by cathyfitz Inspiration, My Story, Travel Tips 0

Turn Your Travel Dreams Into Reality

What is your Dream? Step one is to think, daydream, about what you really want to do. What is your vision for travel or your future dreams? Maybe start a wish list. It’s sort of like a bucket list, but somehow wish list sounds better. iWish is a fun app to get you started. Think about what makes your heart sing, brings you happiness, brings joy and excitement to your day. Maybe your dream isn’t even travel related – whatever it is – if you dream, and believe it, you can make it happen.  “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”  ~ Vincent van Gogh Develop a Plan Downsize/Simplify – the less we need to worry about taking care of in our daily lives, the more time we have to play.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in wanting more things, but does it bring you happiness or are you weighed down by debt and too many things to take care of? When you let go of the trappings of material possessions, you make room for new aspects of your life. Get brutal – once you start to simplify and clear the clutter it feels like a weight is lifted. Even […]

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Red Sky at Morning Sailor Take Warning

If you see me at the helm of a sailboat – you might need to take warning! Bill & I recently completed a 4-day sailing course at Great Lakes Sailing. It was one of the most exciting, challenging, difficult, exhilarating, and scary things I have ever attempted. With no prior experience sailing or driving a boat, the amount of information was a little overwhelming. When given the helm at the end of the first day to park (I mean dock the boat), my mind went blank and panic set in. Terrified and frozen at the helm, the wind moved the boat in directions I did not want to go. Crashing into poles, the dock or other boats seemed a real possibility. Thankfully Bill and our new sailing class friend, Bob, jumped to my aid. Have you ever had great anticipation for something only to find it is not what you expected, or in this case much harder to accomplish than you expected? I have wanted to learn to sail for years, and always enjoy a chance to photograph sailboats. The picture in my mind of just gliding across the water didn’t follow through to the actual skills involved. Leaving class that first day, wanting to give up and convinced I would never […]

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July 7, 2015 by cathyfitz Inspiration, My Story 0

Happiness Is . . .

What is happiness? According to Wikipedia “Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” Have you ever noticed how some people exude happiness? They make you happy just to be near them. You can’t help but smile in their presence.   Laughing is so contagious, good for the soul, and is a great way to spread happiness.     Traveling the world, it became apparent that material possessions and wealth don’t seem to correlate with happiness.       Is it the simplicity of their lives that leads to the happiness of these people in the South American countries of Ecuador & Uruguay?       According to the new World Happiness Report 2015, Switzerland is considered the happiest country in the world. Is it because of their simple lives in the beautiful countryside? Breathing in the clear mountain air? Drinking from the crystal clear mountain springs?     The U.S., according to the same report, is the 15th happiest country of the 158 countries surveyed. Why are we not higher? Are we too busy trying to get ahead, working harder for more money and things?  Do we sometimes forget to just relax and […]

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November 27, 2014 by cathyfitz Inspiration, My Story 0

Gratitude | Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect on our blessings. I have always loved what this holiday represents – being thankful for what we already have. It’s an wonderful time of family gatherings and gratefulness without the commercialism and expectations of gift giving. As we turn our thoughts to the simple joys and little things in life that make us happy, we start to see the beauty all around us and realize how amazing life really is. On this day of thanksgiving, my emotions are jumbled. Mixed with the feelings of being blessed and grateful for everything in my life are feelings of sadness for those I know are struggling. Before my flight into St. Louis on Tuesday morning my thoughts were of my own selfish wish to get safely into the St. Louis airport for a visit with family and friends. Then watching the news and seeing what had happened the night before in Ferguson I felt such sadness for the people who live in the area amidst turmoil, anger and chaos they have no control over. Unfortunately the horrible acts of a few have destroyed the community for many. I pray for the safety of everyone living in Ferguson and […]

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Seasons Change | Fall in Northern Michigan

As the seasons change, it’s a perfect time to reflect upon the changing “seasons” in our lives. The ups and downs, good times and bad, are all an integral part of the circle of life. The challenge is to not dwell on past seasons and not stress or worry about future seasons, but to stay present and take in all the beauty of the season we are in. The weather in Northern Michigan has changed quickly. Even though several days with fall color were rainy, we’ve been fortunate to have some beautiful days to go out and hike through the amazing nature trails up here. One of my favorites was this magical walk on a portion of the North Country Trail with a view of the High Rollaways. Another bittersweet moment was learning this past weekend was the last for the outdoor Farmer’s Market this season. We are so lucky to have fresh, locally grown produce readily available. It’s another great way to flow with the naturally changing seasons. As the seasons change, so do the types of foods that grow and thrive. Fall is actually one of my personal favorite seasons – the beautiful color, warm sun, crisp air, and […]

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September 1, 2014 by cathyfitz Inspiration, My Story 0

Imagine Peace & Love

When I was a young girl, peace signs were in. Has the world really changed much since then? Was it just as crazy then as it is now. We all have wishes for a better world, but how do we get there? Maybe it all has to start with one person at a time, loving themselves, loving our world, and sharing with others? Hmmm, I guess at some level I still have those ideals of peace & love everyone talked about back in the sixties & seventies. Yes, there is evil in the world and we can’t just stick our head in the sand ignoring it, but to constantly dwell on the negativity doesn’t make it better and continues a vicious cycle of unrest. What has been happening recently in Ferguson is so sad and an example of how toxicity and evil expanded into a community. If only Martin Luther King or someone of that peaceful nature had been able to go in and speak, could some of the anger and hostility been avoided? Would an approach of kindness, love, and understanding helped to avoid some of the vandalism and harm brought to so many innocent people? Maybe it’s time for more forgiveness. Letting go […]

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