My first jewelry!

It took me a long time to get started, but in the last 2 days, I made all of these earrings, which I would now like to offer for sale!
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They are all made of sterling silver and handcrafted by me!
When I first heard that a woman hiking the PCT made jewelry for a living during my ride into Mojave, I knew that I wanted to do that, too! It has been on my list of things to do ever since and I am so happy that I have finally begun this part of my life! I love sitting quietly in my apartment, putting together aesthetically-pleasing things! I think it is the perfect job for me! And it took less than 24 hours to sell my first pairs! It was equally delightful to hear the responses of my first two customers!
I am selling these earrings for $16/pair (plus the cost of shipping). However, anyone who buys two or more pairs, will receive free shipping!

Please let me know if you are interested. After I sell these ones, I will get busy making more! And in December, I will add some bracelets to the mix!

Also, please remember that I have about 26 calendars left that I have made from photographs that I took along the PCT. The version with photographs only is $20 and the one with selected quotations is $30.

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AND, I have an Ocean Scenes 2015 Calendar printed from some of the photos that I took on my beach walks this past year! This calendar is only $12!

As always, thank you so much for your support!

I will be back with some writing soon! It has been an event-filled couple of weeks!

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I made a PCT Calendar!

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If you have seen my presentation and have been inspired by my story and by the photographs that I have taken along my journey, it is my hope that my calendar will act as a reminder of these things for you and will provide some beauty to look at for an entire year! And if you have not yet had a chance to see my presentation, but have enjoyed what I have posted on my blog and are inspired by the change I am creating in my life, I also hope this calendar will be a reminder of that for you. Of course, they also make wonderful holiday gifts, so if you are wondering what you can give to your friends and family, look no further!
The calendar is made with sturdy, glossy paper and the cost is $20.

I have also ordered a second version in which I picked out an appropriate reflective quote for each month. Because these ones were more expensive to make, I have to sell them for $30.

If you are interested in purchasing a calendar, please contact me at: wendy.thruhiker@gmail.com

I will be bringing them to my upcoming talks and can mail them out, as well!

Thank you so much for your support!!!

My talk schedule

For anyone interested, here is my current upcoming presentation schedule. All talks are free and open to the public.

March, 2015:

Shrewsbury, MA Public Library: Thursday, March 26: 6:30-8pm
Townsend, MA Public Library: Sunday, March 29: 3:00-4:30pm

April, 2015

Palmer, MA Public Library: Thursday, April 2: 6:30-8pm
Dighton, MA Public Library (Held at the Town Hall): Saturday, April 4: 11am-12:30
Sterling, MA Public Library: Tuesday, April 7: 6:30-8pm
Middleton, MA Public Library: Thursday, April 9: 6:30-8pm

Hope to see you there! Please feel free to share and invite your family and friends! Thank you, everyone!

And if you have any ideas for other venues where I could speak, would you kindly let me know? Thank you so much!!

Inspiration for Change

http://elitedaily.com/life/staying-settling-need-move-5-times-life/751829/

Staying Is Settling: Why You Need To Move At Least 5 Times In Your Life

by Lauren Martin

“Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere, sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore.” – Stefan Zweig

Turn around, look at your life and decide right now if this moment, this place makes your pulse race and your heart bend. If there’s not a fluttering feeling in the deepest part of your soul, questioning and absorbing everything around you, get out right now.

If you feel comfortable, content and unchallenged… stand up and walk away. Make plans or don’t make plans, but whatever you do, leave this place and find somewhere new.

There’s a reason the word “leaving” sounds so nice. Like saying “see you later” instead of “goodbye,” it puts you at ease. It signifies a fresh start, a departure from the old and overrun. Because leaving is just the precursor to arriving, and there’s nothing better than a fresh start.

Whether it’s a new apartment or a new city, starting over isn’t about changing your scene, but the way you’re living in it. It’s about opening your eyes again, walking to the ledge and looking up, down and across, once again comprehending the vastness of life that sits openly waiting for you.

Life has a tendency to get stale. Like your favorite food, it loses its edge after a while, that special quality that made you love it so much in the first place. We, like the places we confine ourselves to, become as dull and boring as our surroundings.

New experiences are the reason we live. They are the reason we get up every day, the reason we carry on. While we enjoy comfort, we crave experience. The point of living is not to resign yourself to one part of life, but to continually redefine yourself. It’s to baptize yourself, over and over again, in new waters and new experiences.

You have your entire life to be comfortable, to sit in your house and bask in the familiarity of it. But right now, while you’re young and uncomfortable, keep going, keep challenging yourself. Keep making yourself uncomfortable. Because it’s only when we’re uncomfortable that we are growing and learning.

To truly understand yourself, your purpose and those around you, you must keep moving. You must move at least five times; five times to open your heart and dip your toes into something new, fresh and life changing.

1. To get away from what you know

Your first move is like taking flight for the first time. Like learning to fly, you realize the only thing stopping you from the world is yourself. You don’t have wings, you have legs, airplanes and trains. You have buses, cars and ocean liners. You have the world in front of you, with nothing but open sky and limitless possibilities.

But first you must leave the nest. You must say goodbye to everything you grew up with, the small world you once considered enough. You must unlatch yourself from the comforts of the familiar and place yourself in the middle of chaos.

This first move is the hardest. It’s the moment you willingly decide to be uncomfortable, scared and alone. It’s making the decision to become a foreigner, an outsider, a refugee. It’s abandoning everything you once cherished for the idea that there’s something better out there.

2. To find new experiences

The second move you make should be one of restlessness. You should be tired of the same flavors of your now comfortable surroundings. This move is about feeling again. It’s about accepting that you can’t possibly know everything, but you are going to try.

You are going to have experiences, adventures and an unforeseen future. You don’t know who you’ll meet, what you’ll find or how you’ll get there, but you will do it. You will jump into it blindly and openly.

You will make new friends, find new flavors and reignite that passion for life that came with your first move. You will not rest until your hungry soul is placated. You will leave your old friends for new ones, your first language for another and that idea that you’re home for that invigorating feeling of homesick.

3. To chase love

To chase love is to chase happinesses. It’s to decide that you will throw yourself into the swirling, maddening and restless chase we’re all trying to enter. Because love is the ultimate destination, is it not? It’s the reason we move, every day.

It’s the reason we get up and fight through the bad. It’s the reason we keep going, trudging on, meeting person after person. It’s the last goal, the final frontier and the only thing worth moving for.

If you think you’ve found it… in a person, a city, a job, you must move for it. If your dream job awaits in Spain, you must move there. If your heart yearns for the pink beaches of Bermuda, you must go there.

If you fall in love on the dunes of the Cape with a man you barely know, you must follow him. Chasing love is not irresponsible, it’s honest. It’s admitting that there is no greater chase, nothing more important. Because if you’re not chasing love, what are you running after?

4. To escape that love

Love isn’t infinite. It can be found in a moment, a single dose or a fleeting romance. It can be a year of perfect love with someone who isn’t supposed to stay in your life. It can be in beaches that bring you peace until your heart years for something new. It can be in the first bite of pasta and over with its last.

Love isn’t defined by its length but its capacity to touch you and change you. Just because it doesn’t last doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. You must leave for love but you also must realize when that love no longer remains.

You must be strong enough to walk away from finished love to find new love. You must flee the suffocation that comes from stifled love and keep your heart open for more.

You must never settle, never give in to the idea that you can’t have another one. Because the world is full of things to throw your heart into, things to make you weep and realize (yet again) why you’re alive.

5. To begin all over again

You must resist the confines of comfort. You must defy the idea of settled. You must never resign yourself to the ordinary or the easy. You must challenge tranquility for the promise of something greater.

To live is to be born and to continually live is to be reborn, again and again. As a new person, new lover, new friend, you must willingly evolve and transform into new versions of yourself.

You must never allow the new place you’ve created to become the final place. You must consistently defy the idea of comfort for the idea that you’ll never be fully satisfied unless you’re exploring, changing and moving.

The Winter of Listening by David Whyte

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
forgetting
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
forgetting
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
difficulty
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous
otherness.
Silence and winter
has led me to that
otherness.

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

David Whyte

Brittany Maynard’s Touching Story

In early October, the following video was making its rounds on the internet.

Many people expressed their sadness over the impending death of a young, newly married woman as a result of an aggressive form of brain cancer. I watched the video and was brought to tears as well- not over the story of an early death, but from the incredible display of love that Brittany’s mother exudes for her daughter. Her compliments and words of admiration and the deep love that is evident from her tears strikes me so greatly because they are in such opposition to any of the words or feelings expressed by my own mother. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have that kind of support- that kind of backbone- in one’s life. And my emotions only intensified when she talked about their plans for “meeting” on Machu Picchu after Brittany passed. Despite the fears her mother feels by the thought of making such a journey, her willingness to fight through them in order to fulfill her promise to her daughter and to have the chance for this spiritual connection rips me apart.

Brittany made the decision to move to Oregon, where she would be allowed to die at a time of her own choosing under the Death With Dignity Law. She announced that she had chosen the date of November 1st to pass- several after her husband’s birthday.
Here is her written story:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/07/opinion/maynard-assisted-suicide-cancer-dignity/index.html

At the end of October, Brittany released a second video in which she stated that it is possible she will continue to live after that date, depending on how she is feeling and that November 1st was more of a goal than a deadline. She also responded to the numerous people who criticized her choice of ending her life before the cancer took it for her. One of these critics was Philip Johnson, a 30 year old Catholic seminarian, also suffering from brain cancer, who calls Brittany’s decision “anything but brave.”
http://www.dioceseofraleigh.org/content/raleigh-seminarian-terminal-brain-cancer-responds-brittany-maynard
I could not agree more with Brittany’s feelings regarding “whatever THEY”VE decided is best for me.” No one has a right to impose their opinions about what someone else should do with their life. We must respect our own feelings, our own truths, and our own personal experiences. Each of us has the right to decide what is best for our own selves and for our own lives. I love what her mother has to say about this. ““It’s not my job to tell her how to live. And it’s not my job to tell her how to die. It’s my job to love her through it.” (How extraordinarily powerful!!…) Debbie Ziegler, Brittany Maynard’s mother, is a woman who displays an enormous amount of love, strength, and integrity. I hope that the world will listen to and learn from her wisdom and poise.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/29/health/oregon-brittany-maynard-video/

Brittany did decide to end her life peacefully, surrounded by her family and close friend, on Saturday, November 1st. She leaves us with an important reminder: “The reason to consider life and what’s of value is to make sure you’re not missing out. Seize the day. What’s important to you? What do you care about? What matters? Pursue that. Forget the rest.”

May you rest in peace, Brittany. You have most certainly left behind a tremendous legacy.