Thirteen years ago, my life changed course. For the backstory, I suggest you look at my first book, When All Balls Drop. Over the years, in sharing my story through my books, presentations, and travels, others came out of the woodwork with their personal trials and roadblocks. Strangely enough, regardless of the circumstances, there was a common thread, gained perspective from the varied challenges. This is why, I created the Look Up Mantra. Look Up reminds us all to be in the moment and find the upside.
Look Up Reminder from Mount Hood
Earlier this month, I took a Look Up anniversary trip with my mother to the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon. Our original plan was for Croatia in 2020, but we all know what got in the way. So, our alternate plan turned out to be an epic domestic trip. If you haven't gone, I'd highly suggest the scenic road trip called the Infinity Loop, which includes the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, and the Fruit Loop around Hood River.
On our last full day in the area, we hiked to Mirror Lake where we were gifted a perfect view of Mount Hood from afar. To refuel after the hike, we drove to the Timberline Lodge for an up close and personal view of Wy'East (Native American name for Mount Hood) with a delectable meal and libations. Just as I did when we visited Matterhorn in Switzerland together, I took the opportunity to capture the Look Up moment (above image). Mother Nature has a way to remind us with her beauty and power to be in the moment. We were reminded while holding onto our hats with gusting winds and taking a moment to catch our breath at higher altitudes.
Losing a Hero from My Journey
I received an unexpected phone call at 6:30 am on the morning of our departure. It was the receptionist from my doctor's office. She informed me that Dr. R, my doctor post-accident in 2009, had passed. Immediately, I started to cry, saddened by the loss, but also because I traveled back to the time that he was most crucial to me. Dr. R was the captain of my ship when I couldn't be at the helm. However, with his guidance, I took over the ship. I'm stronger now than I was pre-accident. The recovery was lengthy but so worth it. I have had thirteen years fabulous years. I owe Dr. R and many of my clan a sincere thank you.
To honor Dr. R, both my mom and I headed to a beautiful vista to be in the moment and find an upside in light of such terrible news. On my flight back to Hawaii from the West Coast, I reread When All Balls Drop where I start the book with a quote from Dr. R as well as include a chapter about the beginning of our relationship. It had been several years since I had read my first book for its Audible version. Reading it rekindled many powerful emotions. I cried and laughed all the way home. It is something I should make an annual tradition.
My heart goes out to anyone who is struggling with loss, life's hurdles, illness, or a combination of elements. Life is not fair; you can't control it. However, you can always harness the power of perspective. Use Look Up often and repeat.
As always, here's to looking up (from wherever you are and whatever you are going through)!