#lifecoaching

Stepping into a wonderful network

Wow, what a great response I’ve had, all over social media, for my last post about my route! It’s been wonderful to connect with so many like-minded people all around the US and Canada, many of whom have offered me lodging or meetups when I reach their areas. I’ve also done some Zoom calls with some of you about your wonderful ideas and projects. (If you’re reading this and you feel drawn to a Zoom or phone call to talk about your dreams or projects, please comment or use the green “contact” button above to schedule something!)

My newest step forward on this journey, which I’m excited to share with you all, is that I just finalized my Servas.org membership. I love talking to anyone who will listen about Servas, because I find that very few people seem to know about it, and it is an absolute gem of an organization. It’s a global peacebuilding nonprofit, founded in 1949 in the wake of a horribly destructive world war, and run entirely by volunteers who support its mission. I first learned about it a little over a year ago, from a friend who had had a great experience with Servas hosts when she was a traveler, moving to Oregon from the Midwest many years ago.

Servas is similar to couchsurfing.com in that it is a way for travelers and hosts to find each other and connect. It differs in that it is a nonprofit organization, and explicitly aiming to foster deeper human connection. Therefore, joining is a bit of a process: you submit a letter of introduction, which is reviewed by Servas volunteers. You answer several questions—such as whether you wish to join as a traveler, a host, or both—and fill out an online application. Then you do an in-person interview with a local Servas volunteer in your area (or, in the era of COVID, a video interview) and then you pay your annual dues. As a traveler, I paid $98.

Once you join, you gain access to connect with more than 12,000 other members worldwide. (About 1000 of these are in the US, and another 300 in Canada.) When travelers and hosts connect, the “standard” stay is two nights, which is perfect for my intentions. During that time, travelers and hosts share at least two meals, and engage in meaningful conversations, with the underlying belief that connecting meaningfully with strangers all around the world can lead us to greater intercultural understanding and, ultimately, a peaceful world.

This vision—and this way of moving toward it—is 100% aligned with my personal vision, and more specifically, my vision for this bike journey!

Between Servas, Warmshowers.org, couchsurfing.com, friends, family, and friends of friends, I’m so excited for all the amazing personal connections I will be able to make on this journey. I’m honored to do whatever I can to support each host in bringing about their ideas and visions for themselves and the greater good.

If Servas appeals to you, as a traveler or host, please take a look and consider joining!

  • To schedule a one-hour session with me to talk about your dreams or projects, use the green “contact” button above!
  • To be notified of future blog posts, use the green “sign up” button to subscribe
  • If you support my vision, I also welcome financial support to keep it sustainable! I am seeking to manifest $50,000 in lieu of a “salary” for the year of this journey. You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a fairy godfunder (thank you to all my patrons and supporters!)

The route takes shape!

Happy spring, everyone! (Or if you’re in the southern hemisphere, Happy autumn!) Are you feeling it? Have you been out to enjoy some sunshine, warmth, blossoms and new growth? I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the glimpses of it we’ve been getting here in Portland, with the cherry blossoms along the waterfront and everything else that emerges in this season.

And… I’ve been working on my route for my trip, and I’m so excited! I’ve had the general idea of where I want to go for a while, but I hadn’t had the skills yet in Google Maps to draw it, with a wide enough swath to allow the “wiggle room” I’m definitely building into the itinerary. But the other day I watched a tutorial, et voila!

The map above shows where I plan to go. My intention is to head south from Portland this September, and make the loop until the following September. Most of the journey will be done on my wonderful Brompton folding bike, with my awesome Chubby trailer. Certain sections will be done by Amtrak trains (one of my other favorite ways to travel!) Some short segments may also be done by city transit or other buses, or in a few cases, “road tripping”/carpooling with friends in a given area.

But, mostly by bike! I’m so excited to see all the natural beauty around the continent; to visit national parks and natural areas I’ve never seen (such as the redwood forests, Yosemite, Niagara Falls, and Glacier National Park); visit new-to-me cities, including but definitely not limited to San Antonio, Atlanta, Quebec City, and Toronto; and connect with people: friends, relatives, and lots of inspiring people I have not yet met!

As the trip draws closer, I am putting together a rough list of people who may be willing to host me for a night or two in their homes. The purpose of this trip—beyond physically challenging myself and enjoying the natural beauty of the land—is to give myself a chance to connect with inspiring people, and co-create as much magic as possible. I am seeking opportunities for in-depth conversations and connections about people’s dreams, ideas, and projects for making the world a better place, so that I can help them to hold those visions, spread the word about them, and network like-minded people together as I travel, so that they can all be more effective in manifesting this magic!

So, rather than camping or relying mostly on impersonal lodging such as hotels, I am seeking ways to stay with people for one to two nights at a stretch. I have several websites/organizations in mind that are well suited to this purpose: couchsurfing.com, warmshowers.org, and servas.org. (If you’re not familiar with that last one, take a look—it is a gem of a global peacebuilding organization, founded in the wake of the Second World War.)

But, as I discovered on my 2019 epic cross-country rail journey, I found many wonderful human connections through my friends-of-friends network. I am looking forward to more of this on this (extra!) epic journey, so if you’re reading this, I humbly request that you consider whether you or someone you know might be willing to host me in your/their home for a night or two when I come through your area. I do my best to be a gracious guest, and my goal is always for anyone I stay with to be happy that we had a chance to connect and talk about what’s important and meaningful to us. If you know people on a similar wavelength, along my route, I’d love it if you would put us in touch!

The blue pins on the map are places I’ve been offered to stay so far (thanks so much to everyone who has offered already!) but I’m always open to having multiple connections in any given place, so please feel free to reach out even if your city is already marked. Also, regardless of hosting, I would love to meet up with like-minded folks to talk, perhaps in a local park or café. The more connections, the better!

And, if you do want to connect either just to talk, or to host, I’d love to “meet up” beforehand, to have a phone or video chat to get to know each other a bit, and talk about dreams and projects. We can do that at any time—the sooner the better!—so that we can have a great jumping-off point for the conversation when we meet in person.

I’m so excited. Thank you all for following along with me and supporting my vision!


To schedule a one-hour session with me to talk about your dreams or projects, use the green “contact” button above!

To be notified of future blog posts, use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

And/or, you can support my work financially with a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a fairy godfunder (thank you to all my patrons and supporters!)

Committing to 15 minutes a day

When we have a dream to work toward, it can be so exciting! Especially at first! All the good ideas are flooding our brain. We’re talking to friends about it! Maybe we’re posting about it on social media. We might make to-do lists about specific steps we’ll need to follow to manifest the dream.

But… after that initial excitement phase, sometimes we can fall into a rut. The buzz wears off in the chemistry of our brain. Most of our friends already know about our dream. There’s nothing new to post about it. Fears and doubts may begin to creep in. (“Oh, what about this aspect of things? I hadn’t thought of that.” “Is this really realistic?” “Do I really have the time or energy to take on a new project?”)

Day-to-day tasks and other priorities can start to crowd in, too. And before we know it, a month or two after we got lit up with Such An Exciting Idea!!… it can start to fade away.

Does this pattern sound familiar to you?

One strategy I have used effectively to combat this is to dedicate 15 minutes per day to my dream.Actually, to be fair, it’s kinda 30 minutes. But still totally doable. Here is what it looks like:

After my workday at my “day job”, I need to shift mental gears. So, when I get home, I sit down and dedicate 15 minutes to emptying my mind. I turn off the ringer on my phone, and set the timer for 15 minutes. I sit on the couch and mentally review the day so far. I reflect on what has happened during the day, and how I felt about those things at the time—good and bad—and how I handled things. I notice if I am proud of how I responded to a challenging situation, or perhaps acknowledge if I didn’t handle something as well as I would have liked. In either case, I note the event and my emotions and responses, and then let them go. (I sometimes find this to be a helpful gratitude exercise: often I remember cool little things that happened during the day that I would have forgotten if I hadn’t taken this time of reflection.)

By the time the ringer sounds, I feel more grounded, and the second half of my day is ready to begin.

Then, I set the timer for another 15 minutes. This time, I focus on visioning toward my dream. I think back briefly on the day again to see if anything has moved toward the fruition of my dream. (Did I contact someone? Did someone contact me? Did I write something? Did I get a new idea and jot it down?) Then I spend some time just smiling, and enjoying what my dream is. I imagine how it will feel as it unfolds. For example, since my present dream involves bicycling around the United States and Canada, I might imagine how I’ll feel while riding through a beautiful national park or a redwood forest. I allow myself to fully enjoy the feelings of a dream well manifested.

Then, I let my mind gently float toward small, manageable actions I could take to move toward it. Is there someone I could contact? Is there some topic I could research on Google or social media? Is there something I could write? Generally, without much effort, one or two such action steps float easily to me, and I make a mental note of them.

When the timer goes off, if an action step seems easy and quick enough, I might do it right then. If it will take more time or energy than I have at that moment, I’ll instead write it on a to-do list for later.

Fifteen minutes is a magical length of time. It seems small enough that it feels manageable. Yet, in the brain it is enough time for substantive forward motion to happen. I even use the 15-minute “trick” to do various other kinds of tasks in my life. Maybe I’m struggling to do an ongoing chore, or to read a challenging book. I can tell myself, “Hey, just set the timer for 15 minutes, and see how much you can do.” Sometimes I get a lot done in 15 minutes. Sometimes by the time I invest that time, I have built up enough momentum to continue on with the task. But I know I don’t have to, and that is the key.

If you haven’t tried this, I urge you to give it a go. (It doesn’t have to be in the early evening, either; it can be at whatever time of day works for you. You can break up the two 15-minute segments and do them at different times of the day, too, if that works better for you.)

I have spoken with many of you about your dreams. Can you set aside 15 minutes of each day for visioning them into fruition?

To schedule a one-hour session with me to talk about your dreams or projects, use the green “contact” button above!

To be notified of future blog posts, use the green “subscribe” button

And/or, you can support my work financially with a one-time or monthly contribution (thank you to all my patrons and supporters!)