a walk in cuenca

IMG_1911.JPG I’m on the most everyone loves walking in Cuenca list. So today I walked from the area of Santa Ines Hospital along Solano, and then crossed over 12 de Abril Avenue to the bridge and saw the lovely Rio Tomebamba flowing by . . .

IMG_1912.JPG and . . . up those many stairs that are sandwiched in between two buildings – such a dark setting – to Calle Larga . . . left on Hermano Miguel to Carolina Bookstore where I had every intention of signing up for Spanish classes, but instead a Robin Sharma book caught my eye, and I conveniently forgot about Spanish. Another night with Duolingo – glad I have it.

And how was your day?

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There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars. – Jack Kerouac

When you know that you’re capable of dealing with whatever comes, you have the only security the world has to offer. – Harry Browne

the untethered soul

Have you read this book?


You might want to.


walking up and down

IMG_1871-1.JPG These 88 steps lead up to Hermano Miguel and Calle Larga to the beautiful old historic El Centro, and down to the Rio Tomebamba and over to Parque de la Madre where you’ll find the new part of Cuenca.

When walking up or down the steps you’ll often see young people proudly selling the nicely-displayed jewelry they’ve made. And at times there are musicians playing, and when they play certain music, they’ll have you feeling the beat as you walk up or down those 88 steps.

These steps have seen a lot of history – they’re worn; they have lots of character; and somehow they impart good energy. There are other stairs leading from the old to the new Cuenca; these though seem somehow different.

Also, tucked away at the half way point is Wunderbar Café. It’s easy to miss, but you don’t want to by-pass it because there you’ll find a charming garden and an equally charming waitstaff, along with good coffee and a nice menu. On weekdays they offer almuerzo.

Okay, I’m heading for those stairs now . . . away I go.

How is today for you?

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@JamesVanPraagh: U R creative & powerful. Let go of your fixed ideas, change your inner pictures, and give yourself control over your own life.

Get over it! Whatever is holding you back – release it! Move on! – Mark Gilbert

Gerry Reissman: As Ruiz says, fill your life with grace, peace and unconditional love. Wonderful book!!
(about The Four Agreements)

play or put it away?

When children are offered pizza dough at certain restaurants they know right away what they want to do with it. What would you do with your pizza dough?


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“A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.”
~ Jim Morrison

“The more real you get, the more unreal the world gets.”
— John Lennon

good idea?

Let’s let any stress we’re feeling today melt away . . . and have a Saturday of pure enjoyment. Good idea?


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Simply be who you are, do what you do best, be where you are called by joy, and let life work its magic on your behalf.
~ Alan Cohen

If anyone tries to complicate your life, turn and walk away from them.
– Caroline Myss

that gut feeling

I’ve been in Cuenca, Ecuador a while, and I can say that it’s quite a nice lifestyle. The city is alive with culture, there are festivals of all kinds, music, restaurants, new foods to taste, inexpensive, sometimes hair-raising, bus rides to north, south, east, west, people eager to meet people, there’s a lot of support, a good medical system in place, lots of possibilities to learn Spanish either with a tutor or at a school, it’s a marvelous walking city, the big mercados are filled to the brim with fresh fruits and vegetables at unbelievable prices, there always seem to be a number of spacious homes and apartments to buy or rent, and, listen to this . . . that’s not all.

Sometimes though one’s heart says it’s time to move on. And as strange as that sounds after just listing the delights of living in Cuenca, that just might be the case. The Quito/Otavalo/Cotacachi area is beckoning. Every time I read or hear about that land north of Cuenca, I imagine what it would be like to live there. It was my original destination before I second-guessed myself, and that says something for listening to one’s intuition, that gut feeling that knows. Though, Cuenca, thank you, you have been so good to me. 💚

IMG_1869.JPGat the flower market

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“Just stop! Go in the heart. You can change reality that way. Move from brain to your heart. You can do this very fast. Tune into heart.” – Hira Hosen

delete? maybe not.

I just deleted a post I wasn’t sure about. That word delete makes me think of other ways we delete certain events in our lives. It happens when one small, tiny, teeny, thought arises and then manages to take over and change everything, because we let it happen – sometimes too easily. That said, maybe I should have kept that post.

For instance, I like reading travel essays, travel books, and various other writings by people in the know about traveling and living abroad. Lately there’s been plenty written about moving to Cuenca, Ecuador where I’m living. What I don’t see often in these writings is what happens to people when they make the move and find that, after having lived in new surroundings a short or long time, it’s not what they expected. And somehow, because they were too busy rearranging their lives to accommodate a life abroad. it never occurred to them that this would happen.

I’m feeling that human nature being what it is, maybe it’s a good thing that some travel writers don’t write much about the downside of living abroad (or come to think of it, the downside of other life experiences) because many wouldn’t make the move — doubts would begin planting their seeds, and once that happens, uh-oh cancel the move, delete that plan – let’s just continue doing what we’ve been doing. It didn’t work for that person, it probably won’t work for us either. Hmm!

But, it happens that when a yearning arises in us to do something – when we feel that push to make a change, as in moving to let’s say Cuenca, it can be a call to change. Period. Making moving the secondary reason. For instance, we move abroad and a feeling of regret begins to creep into our feelings. Before that feeling takes hold though, we open our eyes wide and try to understand the changed situation we’re in, and why we thought it would work when obviously it’s not. However, it could be that maybe we had to go from here to there to meet an extraordinary person who will be instrumental in having us grow in mind body spirit, or maybe the love of our life is waiting for us when we get to our destination, or maybe we needed a good enough reason to quit that awful job that was pulling us down. Many different and wonderful experiences could be right around the corner if we would only step up to the plate, trust, and not second-guess our motives.

And so, when we walk out into the big wonderful world we live in and trust whatever comes our way – trust we have what it takes to expand, explore, spread some joy, have fun with new experiences, and at times be open to serendipity and spontaneity, maybe we should simply continue on, and not delete anything. Because otherwise we’ll never have the opportunity of knowing what’s waiting for us.

IMG_1862.JPG Good things are being served at The Black Olive Bistro in Cuenca

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Physically, psychologically, emotionally, and energy-wise, you must break your limitations. That is when your perception expands. – Sadhguru

Simply be who you are, do what you do best, be where you are called by joy, and let life work its magic on your behalf. ~ Alan Cohen

the power by rhonda byrnes

There’s much to be said about the CD The Power by Rhonda Byrnes. Listening to it every so often can serve as a clearing out of unnecessary stuff we’ve accumulated in mind, body, and emotions. Basically, it’s about being grateful, the power of our imaginations, and finding all the things to love about life.

It’s a joy listening to the stories and quotes, and as we continue to listen, we begin to sense the power in living a life of gratitude. And then there’s the exhilaration that comes when we open our eyes wide and see all there is to love in the world. And also the fun we can have in using our imaginations and witnessing the results when we live life this way. Of course we can witness the results when we live life the other way, but is that the kind of life we want?

It’s raining in Cuenca. The rivers need it, the flowers and trees, too. Rain has a way of contributing to a tranquil day. So, I’m grateful for the rain. I love the rain. I imagine the rivers rapidly flowing once again. ;-)

How’s your day going?

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“We choose our joys and sorrows before we experience them.” – Kahlil Gibran

” . . . However, they don’t realize that it is their feelings that are the cause of what happens to them. To change anything whether it’s the circumstances of money, health, relationships, or any subject whatsoever you have to change the way you feel. Blame, criticism, finding fault, and complaining are all forms of negativity, and often bring back nothing but strife.” – The Power by Rhonda Byrn

“Talk only about what you love; refuse to talk about what you don’t love.”
– The Power by Rhonda Byrnes

comings and goings in ecuador


In the nine months I’ve lived in Cuenca, I’ve heard stories about expats trying to decide whether to stay or leave, and at Stateside stories of people trying to decide whether to move here, or elsewhere in the world.

It seems more than a few people base their decisions on other people’s experiences; they think that what works for that person will work for them. That’s not necessarily the case. Why would we want to plan our lives by what another person does? Their energy, experiences, memories, likes and dislikes are completely different from our own.

Questioning the lay of the land, etc. is important, then if it seems the right fit, we continue with the lay of the heart. This is another way of pondering what to do . . . because the within has its own wonderful methods of arriving at decisions. Sitting still for a while will welcome an all-important decision-maker – one that knows, one we can trust, one who is eager to assist – if we would just let it play its part, too.

When I look back at the times in my life when I followed someone else’s line of reasoning, and put my own aside, things didn’t flow. Of course it’s a different story when we’re in a helpless state, and unable to figure things out ourselves, on the whole though that’s not usually the case.

Learning self-love is a crucial part of the process, and from there we can go on to learning to trust ourselves. Then we learn to trust Life. It’s a nice way to live.

20140510-180248.jpg Look at the usually tranquil Rio Tomebamba with its waves of water rushing pass – thanks to rain, rain, rain. I like it; it’s so alive.

ancient secret of the fountain of youth book 2


It could be that some people might consider not buying ANCIENT SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH because of the title. Though once the book is opened, a treasure trove is revealed. Book 1 tells of how it all began. It’s a marvelous story, almost in the category of a delightful fairy tale. It’s a story that you’ll want to read before picking up Book 2 “A companion to the book by Peter Kelder.”

It’s written in Book 2 about Book 1: “. . . It is not essential for you to read it, but it is highly recommended that you do so. In Kelder’s book you’ll find inspiration and magic that can’t be duplicated here. Many people who read the book cherish the experience and return to reread it again and again.”

There are amazing stories of those adventurers who dared to wander into territory most people thought they could only dream about. And then there are the amazing five rites which are fairly simple to do and which have innumerable benefits. The only way to discover their power is to practice them yourself. It’s one of the few books I took along with me to Ecuador. That’s how much I like the book.

To give you a glimpse of what the five rites do, I’ll quote the inside cover:

“In this book, readers were introduced to the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, a series of exercises developed over centuries in the monasteries of Tibet and credited by thousands for everything from increased energy to better memory, weight loss, and just looking and feeling younger. Almost as quickly as the books filtered across the globe, letters began to pour into Harbor Press requesting more information on these mysterious rites. Now more than ten years and two million books later, comes a comprehensive companion volume that addresses the unanswered questions of so many readers.”

It’s good to know what’s in the marketplace so that we can choose what works for us, right? Now, if I could find a normal yoga mat in Cuenca, I’d be on the floor practicing those Five Rites:-)

Someone said, “Have a happy day.” I am; you, too?

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