The past 6 months have been a whirlwind of activity – I’ve visited 3 continents, 5 countries, 11 states, and 44 cities.  On more than one occasion this year I’ve woken up and wondered “what city am I in?”  In fact, I experience this just last week, only the answer that time was “home.”  Now, you know you’ve been traveling a lot when you wake up in your own home and can’t remember what city you’re in!   Perhaps another reason for my disorientation is that, on a deep level, I’ve actually felt completely at home wherever I’ve been this year.

Thankfully, most of my travels have been a good mix of pleasure and business, and a nice combination of new sights as well as familiar places.  With my visits to Paris and London, although I’ve visited those cities often since childhood, this year’s visits were my favorite ever.

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New places, like Iowa, Wisconsin and South Dakota were also a welcome treat this year.  I stood by the cornfields in Davenport, Iowa soaking in the quiet, natural majesty of the heartland and was enriched by it.  I sat in the Neptune gardens of Versailles palace of France and marveled at the fireworks spectacular that welcomed autumn, my favorite of seasons.  By the way, the French edition of my book “Open Your Mind, Open Your Life” is scheduled to be published soon – can’t wait!

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Maybe it was the evident French influence in Iowa, with Des Moines exhibiting reminder after reminder that it was once the capital of the French colonies, I’m not sure what it was but somehow the transition between the farmlands of the Midwest and the palaces of Europe was seamless for me.  I felt completely at home in both.  London also welcomed me with open arms, and I enjoyed the amazing musical Billy Elliot as well as a marvelous dinner at one of the Whole Foods markets in London, the biggest in the world actually, and I was in pure vegan heaven.  It was the best meal I’ve ever had in London.   Then to Oxford, and the Pink Giraffe vegan Chinese restaurant, and another of the best meals of my life!  Who knew they fixed the bad food problem in UK?  They should send out a press release to let everyone in the world know.  Love it.

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Most recently, I visited my beloved Soka University in Aliso Viejo, CA for a scholarship fundraising gala.  I enjoyed bidding on all kinds of wild auction items and mostly left with lots of golf-related items.   My new friend Howard Jones from the UK came too.  Soon I’m planning to visit Soka University in Tokyo for the first time in much too long, and I’m looking forward to it.  Hopefully when the cherry blossoms bloom and the campus is covered in pink petals with majestic Mt. Fuji in the background.

Throughout all my travels this year, I’ve kept a journal of thoughts and I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you.  As they have done for me, may each of these simple thoughts promote lasting happiness and ways of thinking that truly open your life now and always:

  • You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.
  • There is no sunbeam that is separate from the sun, and so there is no person who is separate from the Source.
  • What is your purpose in life? If you had all the time and money in the world, how would you express yourself? The answer to that, is your purpose.