As we are getting into the groove of living in the bus, we have much to be thankful for. So many of our family and friends have allowed us to “camp” on their property. We stayed near two different lakes in MN with friends, in the towns of Green Bay and Racine with friends and family, on some beautiful property near Janesville, WI also with friends and at a beautiful barn in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where we made new friends. Many generous gifts were given and gratefully received by us; quiet places to sleep, real showers, time to do laundry, vehicles to borrow for sightseeing and wonderful conversations which created beautiful memories.
We were also able to spend a day touring Teddy Roosevelt National Park in ND with Steve’s mom, Lana. The views were stunning as the fall colors are just starting to show themselves. Her warmth and gentleness are always a blessing.
Today, September 17th, we are in Makoti, ND at a quiet and dark baseball field on the outskirts of town. The sounds after dark are the breeze gently moving the leaves of the trees and an occasional nocturnal bird. The cool air is refreshingly chilly. We are heading back near St. Ignace, MI to housesit for some new friends during the month of October. This will allow us precious time to complete some new artwork in anticipation for art festivals starting up again. We are grateful for this gift of time and space.
This brings me to the concept of reciprocity which I learned about in a 21 Days of Abundance group that a new friend, Susan Armstrong, invited me to join. This is a 21-day program led by Deepak Chopra and he states:
“When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily”.
Now we go back to earlier today at the motel Steve’s mom was staying at in Dickinson, ND. We moved the bus to the parking lot behind Lana’s motel as she was leaving early this morning to make her way back to Colorado. After we saw her off, I finished my hot cup of coffee. Steve had gone out for a short walk and there was a soft knock on the bus door. Carla (name has been changed), stood outside the door in the bright sunshine and told me she just left me a message on our website saying how much her daughters enjoyed seeing our bus with sunflowers on it outside their motel room window and that it made them smile. There was no hesitation as I invited her inside. She told me they were in transition, and at the moment, basically homeless as she had just left an abusive situation. We hugged tightly (COVID be damned) and we both felt led by divine intervention to this time together and chatted for a while. I listened, offered some words of encouragement and what cash I had so she could treat her daughters to something nice.
Carla accepted the cash gift and returned a short time later with two bags filled with handmade soaps, bath bombs, scrubs, candles and cups that she sells in addition to her job as a nighttime phlebotomist at the local hospital. We gratefully accepted these beautiful gifts and one cup we found particularly relevant. It says
“Faith over Fear. Accept what is, Let go of what was and have faith in what will be”.
This is something Steve and I both aspire to live by, letting the universe take care of everything and not worry. Deepak Chopra’s quote of abundance above ties into this beautifully and is something we strive to live by.
I then began to go through the mail that Lana brought to us (we use her mailing address) which had been collected over the past few months, and I found some checks that I hadn’t expected from the sale of my house last June. This led me to remember Deepak Chopra’s Law of Giving and Receiving that I also learned about in the 21 Days of Abundance program.
“The universe operates through dynamic exchange…giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives”.
We have received so much since our journey in our bus began, but haven’t had much opportunity to give. I texted Carla and asked if she would allow us to pay for a room for her and her daughters for the next week while she worked on finding a new place to live. Carla hesitated briefly, but gratefully accepted the offer. I went into the front desk of the motel and explained what I wanted to do and gave Carla’s room number. The gentleman working behind the desk took my information and generously gave me a 25% discount on the price of their room mentioning he was paying it forward. I then asked if we could top off our water tanks in the bus and it was quickly arranged and taken care of. Reciprocity.
I encourage all of us to take the following steps, per Deepak Chopra, each day.
“1. Wherever I go, and whomever I encounter, I will bring them a gift. The gift may be a compliment, a flower or a prayer. Today, I will give something to everyone I come into contact with, and so I will begin the process of circulating joy, wealth, and affluence in my life and in the lives of others.
2. Today I will gratefully receive all the gifts that life has to offer me. I will receive the gifts of nature; sunlight, the sound of bird singing, spring showers, or the first snow of winter. I will also be open to receiving from others, whether it be in the form of a material gift, money, a compliment, or a prayer.
3. I will make a commitment to keep wealth circulating in my life by giving and receiving life’s most precious gifts: the gifts of caring, affection, appreciation and love. Each time I meet someone, I will silently wish them happiness, joy and laughter.”
I have gratitude for each moment, each day, and accept all that is offered me. In return, I give gifts in many forms to those I am blessed to encounter each day. My wish for us all is a life filled with abundance and reciprocity.