It’s A Bloggin’ to Look A Lot like Christmas

25 Nov

It’s A Bloggin’ to Look A Lot like Christmas


Greetings from the sunny…ahem…freezing South! Just a few short weeks ago I was still running around in a t-shirt and shorts. Today, I did my walk in thermal underwear and two sweatshirts! My, how things change in the blink of an eye. Slowly but surely, houses around the neighbourhood are sneaking up the Christmas lights before Thanksgiving; blasphemy in my youth but it seems to be standard fare these days. Thank Heavens in the Hensley household, we’re still sporting the orange and brown motif,with candles in the shape of Pilgrims and Indians around the place; the very same ones I used to love playing with as a child. The scent of warm pumpkin muffins floats in the air (don’t get too excited, Debbie Touchstone made them-my Mom has a sign that says “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house!”) Still, the sentiment of Thanksgiving is very present and this year, I have ever so much for which to be thankful.

I had the rare opportunity this year to step off the hamster wheel and create drastic change in my life. I highly recommend this to anyone. I am a different person because of it. I love my life, my family, my work and my home in Ireland; fifteen years there will attest to that. When my girls made the decision to spend a school term with their father in New Zealand, I jumped at the chance to come home to the South, only to find that while I had long since sprouted out into the world, my roots had remained firmly planted in the Virginia soil. I have had glorious adventures with my mother, creating and working through the beginnings of what I know will be a very long bucket list of activities. After losing my father last year, I am so blessed to still have my Mom and intend to continue to make the very most of it. We’ve travelled across the country to California, explored the Virginia beaches, revelled in the mysteries of Edgar Cayce, walked in the mountains, and attended plays in the state capitol as well as our home town, connected with family, reconnected with old friends all the while making new ones along the way.



Mom got an iPad this summer, and for someone who shies away from technology, has mastered email, photos and videos with the great motivation of checking the daily news on her great-grandson in Florida. She’s bopping around town in her new Mini-SUV, shopping and running errands. We tag-teamed and gave a program together about the Queen Mary just a few weeks ago. We’ve been to book clubs, spoken at events, and she has patiently listened to and contributed her expertise to my latest book. What can I say? We have had an absolute blast.

My children have had the last 5 months with their father on the other side of the planet. As they move into the summer season there, the jackets and caps in the earlier photos have been replaced with swimming togs and flip-flops. They’ve met new friends in a totally different learning environment than they are accustomed to and have both discovered some of their own personal strengths. Jada is quite the athlete and is running track like a Tasmanian devil. Jemma has been getting awards for her public speaking and story writing. They have been snow skiing, soaking in the mud pits, snorkelling and digging clams for their supper. We talk almost daily on Skype, where I get to hear all of the news and to check out the view from their kitchen, overlooking the ocean.

There have been struggles I’m sure, but overall, the adventure has been one that I’m sure they will never forget. Today, a series of photos came in from the Christmas parade in Auckland. In tank tops and sandals, the girls waved out to the big fella in red as he cruised down the street in his summer best, another entirely new experience of Christmas for the girls, who were born and bred in Ireland.

In the past few months, I have greatly expanded my Circle of Light with love, friendships and the most incredible healing sessions with some extraordinary individuals. I am ever so grateful to have had the chance to just be ‘me’ for a while. It has been said, “A mind that is stretched by new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Someone once told me that I should just expect that things would always be tough because the world was a horrible and unfair place. He said that it’s impossible to “get off the wheel” because society, the government and the rules simply won’t allow it.

My response…”Just watch me!” So I jumped… and when I did, I found that the wheel continues to turn whether the hamster is in it or not. I took a life break, a chance to catch my breath, I didn’t wait for someone to make it happen for me; I made it happen myself. And if it hadn’t happened this way, I would have found another way. All of the old challenges will be waiting, along with some new ones, I’m sure, but a different person will be back to deal with them.


This holiday season, I am grateful for all of the blessings in my life, but most of all, I am grateful for the fact that I took a risk, followed my heart and broke the cycle of sameness which had lulled me in to forgetting that there is a great big wonderful world out there, just waiting…

My heartfelt wish for you is that in whatever way you see fit, you allow yourself to remember that it’s ok to make changes, to risk, to love and live large. The Source of All That Is wishes not for your blind obedience or fear of making mistakes, but to see your Spirit soar, changing it up, dancing with life and all that it has to offer. We can all make a list a mile long of “Yeah, but I can’t because…”, but as I have learned from watching my 84 year old mother make huge changes in her routine, it’s never too late to create a new path. We have both agreed that we want to die of sheer exhaustion rather than being well rested when it’s time to transition to the great beyond.  For that, I am truly thankful.

With blessings and hugs as you and yours enter this time of celebration and reflection, I send you great love and my warmest wishes for a bountiful holiday season. Start putting into action something new and different to be thankful for this time next year.

Until next time…

Shine On! 




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