Points of Intersection

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I’d like to introduce you to a very special family and our new, dear friends…Santo, Walter and Ethan.

Just as I shared with you about the amazing family, the Krinsky’s from Israel, this is a family we were definitely meant to meet and I know will be life long friends. I always pay attention and appreciate the people who cross my path…our paths. We’ve met so many wonderful people on this journey and I’m so happy we are connected and in touch no matter where we are.

We all met on a small group tour, which we never take, in Shanghai. We immediately connected and it felt like we were family within minutes. Yes, minutes. I don’t throw the word family around and I’m telling you that sometimes I am overwhelmed by the marvelous serendipity in my life. It hits me,  I acknowledge it and then I take it all in. These moments and these encounters enrich my life so deeply and I feel so lucky to have these men in my world.

We enjoyed each other’s company so much that we just kept making plans and ended up seeing and experiencing so much of the incredibly vibrant Shanghai, together. We visited a silk factory, the Ocean Aquarium, Tongli water town, the city of Suzhou, and much more. We shopped in the markets, enjoyed delicious meals, laughed and got to know each other. It felt like we were just picking up where we left off in a previous life or something…very comfortable and very special.

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We are re-routing our trip to go back to Hong Kong so we can spend more quality time together. We are all very excited about it. Whether people in your life were born as your family or they become part of the family you create, there is nothing like connecting with and experiencing genuine and wonderful people.

Thank you Santo, Walter and Ethan for crossing paths with us and for opening your hearts and sharing so openly and honestly with us.
As I told you after only a couple of days…I already Love You. Huge Hugs and Kisses, my friends. See you very soon.

“Belief, like fear or love, is a force to be understood as we understand the theory of relativity and principals of uncertainty. Phenomena that determine the course of our lives. Yesterday, my life was headed in one direction. Today, it is headed in another. Yesterday, I believe I would never have done what I did today. These forces that often remake time and space, that can shape and alter who we imagine ourselves to be, begin long before we are born and continue after we perish. Our lives and our choices, like quantum trajectories, are understood moment to moment. That each point of intersection, each encounter, suggest a new potential direction.

~ from the film Cloud Atlas

Until Next Time…

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Fun in the Forbidden City

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The Forbidden City in Beijing is such an amazing place. You feel the depth of history and culture as you walk through the 250 acres of Royal grounds.

It was truly a fascinating experience and journey. I love learning about and discovering this extraordinary world we live in.

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At the end of our visit, our guide took us to a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and to visit one of the nephews of the former Emperor. He is a master calligrapher and painted a beautiful piece for us with our names and the symbols for Happiness and Love. The boys were fascinated and I loved the peaceful and humble energy of this man.

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Is the Moment of Our Death Fixed?

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Sometimes, I wish I knew the answer to this question.

To those of you who know me, I believe you know that I rarely ever ask for help. It’s not that I think I have all of the answers, however, I’ve always been one to dig deep in order to find and discover them on my own. I am asking for your help now and I would be so grateful if you would share your thoughts with me on what I am about to share with you.

Since beginning this journey 9 months ago, I’ve written a few posts about my recent issues with flying. I explained where the fear first began and I also told you I would never let it stop me from traveling and experiencing the amazing wonders of this beautiful world.

Even after the New York incident when I was 17 years old, I continued to fly. I was always a little nervous but I quickly got over it. I buried myself in a book or movie and was grateful each time I safely landed. When I gave birth, I became one of those people who decided I would never fly without my kids. I also chose driving over flying, when driving was an option.

Up until recently, this fear didn’t occupy much space in my mind. As my husband and I began discussing this trip, I imagined the number of flights we would be taking across the globe. I recall feeling a bit nervous but I never let it hinder my decision or excitement.

We took a flight from Argentina to Spain several months ago, which was very turbulent. I was one of the only few awake on the plane as it was happening. This is where my fear resurfaced and has only gotten progressively worse since then.

I am not a nervous or anxious person. I am calm and strong and positive. I have faith. I believe in things happening for a reason. I trust that there is a plan for all of us. I live my life with gratitude in each and every moment. I realize anything can happen at any time which is why I live the way I do. I LOVE with all of my heart, every second. I live without fear of the unknown because the unknown happens to be where I find the greatest inspiration and enlightenment in this life.

I don’t drink and I don’t use drugs, which some suggest as a simple remedy for my ailment. I’ve always chosen to face life head on, without any mind-altering influences. I still choose this today.

For the first time in my life, I feel like something is controlling me and I can’t seem to get a hold on it, which is why I wanted to reach out to you. It seems that my deep breathing exercises and focusing on the beautiful futures I see for all of us, just aren’t enough.

I want to be free of this. I was reminded recently of a very important thing my sister shared with me once and it’s always stuck with me. We have two choices in life. Fear or Love. I always choose Love. Sometimes I wonder why it isn’t a choice between love and hate…fear or fearlessness. When I think of those choices, I focus on the Love. I focus on positive things because I do believe we attract what we put out. I don’t want my fear to attract negativity and most importantly, I don’t want to manifest the things I actually fear. So, for this reason, I do my best to focus on Good. On the Present. On the beautiful future I see. On Love.

I didn’t fear death before our children were born. Now, I believe my fear stems from the fact that I want our boys to have a long and amazing life. I want to be here for all of it. I want all of us to enjoy this precious life together for a very long time.

I could talk all day long about what I am grateful for, why I love so deeply and how I will continue to live this way, despite this fear I am speaking of right now. For now though, I would like to ask you to take a moment, if you will, and share any wisdom or insight you can offer as to how you make peace with fear in your life.

I always push through these dark moments and I will continue to do so. I will be grateful each time we land and I will enjoy each moment I am given. I want Peace in this area of my life and I thank you for taking the time to share with me. My wish is the same for you.

Is the moment of our death fixed?

I may not know the answer. I may not know the date or the way in which I will spend my last moment, however, I do know this. Even in the face of fear, I will choose to truly Live My Life with all of the Love in my Heart. I will not let anything stop me.

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Shanghai’s Superheroes

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Last night we strolled through the amazing underground market next to the Science and Technology Museum. These costumes are a couple of the wonderful things we found along the way. Thank you to our magnificent negotiator, Santo. You are impressive and can shop with us any time, my friend.

The streets of Shanghai are now safe and we will continue to spread the love in China.

Peace and Tranquility

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Yesterday we spent time at Jing’an Buddhist Temple, the Temple of Peace and Tranquility.

This temple was first built in 247 AD.

We lit incense which is reputed to be a method of purifying the surroundings and then placed them in censers along with our prayers and wishes.

We had a deeply powerful and enlightening visit with the monks and truly enjoyed this beautiful place of worship.

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Much Love from Shanghai.

Motherhood and Balance

One Hot Mama Interview
I’d like to share a recent interview in which I was profiled as One Hot Mama by the author of One Hot Mama, Erin Cox. I know we all do our best to strive for balance each day and I share some of the ways in which I do that. I’m very happy to be connected with all of you on this journey through parenthood.

Tell us about you and what you do, and tell us about your family.

Hi, I’m Sandy. I am a proud Mom of two precious boys, Pierce (age 5) and Aston (age 3). I’m currently traveling around the world with my family for a year. I created a website documenting our family travels which I am very connected to and passionate about, Four Love of the Globe. My husband and I enjoyed traveling before our boys were born and made a decision to sell our cars, lease out our home, put everything in storage, and take a life-changing journey as a family, eight months ago.

We are all exploring and learning about the world around us and each other every day. This journey, education and experience will be a part of our souls forever.

It is in the formative years that children absorb and build their true foundation. I am so thankful they are developing that foundation, as they travel around the world, surrounded by such diversity and the constant thread of our love. Our boys are grounded, free-spirited, loving and adventurous. My love for them is beyond words or explanation.

My husband, Dana and I have known each other for twenty two years and we built an enduring friendship first. Over the course of many years and many challenges we connected again nine years ago and have been together ever since. I am so happy he wanted to take this trip as much as I did and he makes all of this possible. I am so thankful for him and his Love. We share the same outlook about traveling and broadening our knowledge and perspective in this life. It is ever changing and ever growing and I am so lucky to have him and our boys beside me every day.

How has motherhood changed you?

Being a mother is the greatest role of my life. I had no idea how deeply I would be affected. From the second I gave birth and witnessed the soul of my first born son, I was changed forever. As a woman, we go through so many stages and phases. As a mother, I have a true purpose, which often was unclear in the past and now, is what drives me every day.

My purpose is no longer only my own. My heart is more sensitive than ever before. I have learned sacrifice, unconditional love and what it means to be completely vulnerable. I see the world through their eyes and I want to nurture, support and encourage who they are and what they need. I love witnessing our boys as they discover this world. I love being their Mother.

Motherhood inspired me to create my business, Baby Love Wrap. I wanted to design a product that would encourage others to wear their babies as much as I did. My newborn baby was attached to me as I built this business. I wore him in a prototype of my wrap to all of the meetings and factories every day. We had a great time and we developed something very special together.

How do you maintain being fit, healthy, and feeling beautiful?

Breastfeeding helped take my pregnancy weight off quite quickly and since I did it for over 5 years, it made keeping it off, much easier. I’m active every day because I have two boys. We hike, play tennis, swim, run and anything else that may come our way while exploring this world we live in. I also do my own workout on days when I still have energy after all of that.

I have lupus and when I have flare ups, life can be challenging. There are days when I wonder how I will make it through. I am very proactive with my health and I do my best to be healthy with the things I am in control of. I am a vegan, I stay active and I do my best to get sufficient sleep. The sleep thing is new because for many years I didn’t get much of that. I am grateful for that now and I think it’s contributing to my better health these past couple of months.

As far as beautiful goes, let me tell you this. I just had my first pedicure in 7 months and my grey roots colored after too many months. This is the longest I’ve gone with such little maintenance on my outside appearance. It was an interesting period for me and one in which I’m actually thankful for. I’ve never been one to think that our outsides makes us beautiful. I’ve always believed that one’s inner beauty is the most important thing. When you are shining and confident and comfortable with yourself, you are beautiful.

I see hair maintenance and basic grooming as ingredients for making us feel good about ourselves and these things also give us a certain confidence as women. This said, I also have seen that the opposite opens space for a deeper understanding of what is truly important. Traveling the world and being present to my family and everything around us is what matters. I feel beautiful when I am living the life I am meant to live. I feel beautiful when I am connected to others and this world. I enjoy feeling feminine and pretty when I have pretty toes, a dress on, my hair flowing and the scent of my favorite perfume permeating the air as I walk, however that for me, isn’t beautiful. Beautiful is a feeling that comes from within and I am feeling beautiful right now as I write this. I am in my true, authentic space and sharing with you and this is an amazing place to be in.

What is your biggest challenge for taking care of yourself?

My biggest challenge for taking care of myself is when I can’t control my lupus flare ups. I do my best to get through them and I’m so grateful when they pass. Now that our boys are getting a little older, I make time to take care of myself more than I did when they were infants and toddlers. A shower was a big accomplishment in those days.

How do you balance goals and responsibilities?

Balance is an important thing for me. My goals are aligned with my priorities every day. My responsibilities are just part of that alignment and they don’t feel like work. I just continue taking steps each day and doing what needs to be done within those days. Sometimes I accomplish a lot and sometimes, nothing at all in terms of responsibility. Mindful Living is one of my main goals each day so the responsibilities which align with that are usually quite enjoyable.

What inspires you about being a mother?

I always say that being a Mother is the greatest gift and role of my lifetime. The fact that I get to LOVE completely, nurture, protect, teach, support, encourage and raise my boys each day is unbelievable. I am so inspired when I wake up and get to look at each day as a new day. We create adventures and truly live. Traveling with my kids is a very different experience than my past of traveling alone or with my husband. The world presents an education that is incomparable. I am inspired to constantly learn and grow as a woman so that my perspective as a mother is enriched in order to teach and inspire them about the world around us.

How do you reward yourself?

At the moment, I reward myself by creating time to write and read. I’ve written my whole life and it’s always been very cathartic for me. It’s also always been a true form of self expression and I’m thankful to have people to share this expression with.

I am happy when I get to take a hot bath after our boys are asleep. I enjoy going to the gym, blasting my music and singing while on the treadmill. These are rewards for me. These are the gifts that re-charge and inspire me.

What brings you inner-peace?

Writing and expressing my thoughts give me inner peace. Knowing I am doing my best each day in raising our boys and witnessing their growth and development, calm my soul. Contributing positively and lovingly to my family, those around me and to the things I believe in, give me peace. My inner voice, my heart and my mind, guide me. When I trust my instincts and live my life while trusting these, I find inner peace.

How do you remain joyful amidst the chaos?

My joy comes from my attitude, my patience and my Love. I’m not saying it’s easy or that I’m always smiling through the chaos. I see chaos for what it is and I calmly work through it. It usually doesn’t take very long. Once I do, I find the joy again and balance is in place until the next challenge presents itself. Then repeat.

How do you bring balance to your life when things are chaotic?

I remain calm and patient. I find a way to sit quietly with my thoughts so I can process what needs to be shifted in order to find balance. I really don’t find life to be chaotic. Chaos is a mindset in my opinion. I choose to just handle each thing as it comes, calmly and peacefully. The answers are soon revealed and the clearing is made for new light and new growth.

What does success look like to you?

Success for me is feeling comfortable in my own skin. It’s knowing I am loving with all of my heart, supporting and encouraging our boys as they discover who they are and the world around them. It is contributing to society in positive and constructive ways. Success is being an example of what I wish for others. Love. Peace, Harmony, Balance. Self respect. Full self expression. Success is living and loving with all that I am and feeling the gratitude for each moment I am given.

What have you failed at that turned out to be a blessing?

I fail to follow the masses and the expected norms of society. I choose my own path and I pave new ones every day. I fail to let other’s tell me how to live and how to raise my children. I fail to give up or get discouraged when I witness evil and hate in our world. I fail to live a passive life. These are failures which I am blessed with every day.

What projects are you working on?

I am currently traveling around the world and enjoying the most exciting projects of my life. I am capturing precious moments through photography. I am writing for several publications on parenting, traveling and mindful living. I passionately document our journey through my personal blog at Four Love of the Globe. I am donating and selling my Baby Love Wraps around the world. I am writing fictional short stories. I am getting ready to write my first book. I truly feel that I am living my dreams and discovering and experiencing life so deeply and fully. I am more grateful than I can possibly express.

How do you nurture your relationship while parenting, traveling, and maintaining a business?

This isn’t always easy and I find it to be another thing that comes down to ‘balance’. At the moment, while on the road, I do my best to have quality time together as a family as well as individually. We all need space sometimes and we all need one on one time. I love my family so much and the nurturing comes easily because we are always together which promotes the kind of intimacy and connection I need and love.

What is a favorite quote that inspires you to be your best?

“Every single second is a chance to turn it all around.” -Inspired by the film, Vanilla Sky.

I believe that we have a choice in each moment to be our best. A positive attitude and that choice set up the foundation we need to build upon. No matter what happens, I know that I can choose to be my best and to make the most out of what I have. When challenges arise, I make the choice to rise above, learn and grow.

Here is a link to the interview and you can check out Erin Cox and the Hot Mama Movement!
http://www.erincox.com/hot-mama-profile-sandy-gordon-frankfort/

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Happy As a Pig In…

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We had a wonderful time in Hong Kong. We truly explored and discovered the city in ways we hadn’t previously. It was full of adventure, culture and education.

As vegetarians, I must say, it was difficult to witness the array of animals roasting and hanging on every street corner and the variety of animals on the menus in restaurants. I hesitate to share this but here are some examples…chicken feet, cow skin, goat penis and testicles, baby pig legs, seafood served alive, chickens, heads included and baby pigs in their whole form.

I realize this is part of a culture and a way in which it’s always been done. It is not my business what others eat. I can only stand for the ethical treatment of animals, support those who are vegetarian and lead by example if anyone else is interested in crossing over to our delicious and green world. It makes me very sensitive and grateful to be a vegan myself when I am exposed to this so closely.

Our boys have been vegetarian since birth. My intention initially was to introduce them to a healthy foundation and then let them decide later if they wanted to remain vegetarian or not. As infants and through toddlerhood, children are dependent on us for their food. They eat what they are given. If they don’t like something, they move on to the next option. Our kids never knew meat or the fact that they were missing anything. This is what they know and this is what they now choose.

As we travel around the world, they are exposed to so much. They meet and connect with many farm animals. They love each and every one of them. They ask many questions. They comment as they see animals on a plate, at a street vendor or anywhere else. They just look at me, after they figure out which animal the meat comes from, and they each sigh and say, “Poor Guy.”

My husband is not vegetarian and we accept that. Aston, one night at dinner however, said this, (in a very sweet and gentle voice)…”Daddy, I am smarter than you because I’m a vegetarian and I don’t eat meat. You would be smarter if you didn’t eat meat.” Yes, our little 3 year old said that and it did not come from my mouth or my influence.

Pierce asked one day, after witnessing a pig on a spit, why the whole world isn’t vegetarian. I told him that many people were raised eating meat, they enjoy it, and that is their choice. He wasn’t satisfied with that response. He then said, “We need to get someone, maybe a teacher, someone who can talk to many people at once, and have that person tell everyone why it’s better to be vegetarian. This way all of the animals in the world can stay with their families and be happy together.” These are words from our 5 year old.

I wasn’t expecting to share this today. I was simply writing a post about our happiness in Hong Kong but this came out, as I realized the impact it had on me once again. I am proud to be a vegetarian. I am proud of our boys for eating so well and desiring broccoli and beans more than candy. I am proud that they have such compassion for animals. I am proud that they not only understand, but want to make a difference for animals and for health. We are looking forward to volunteering at the Farm Sanctuary in California and New York and meeting the Amazing, Gene Baur.

Lastly, since I am sparing all of us the graphic photos I DIDN’T take of the animals, I will share some happy moments we had in Hong Kong!

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Time Zones

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It’s a wonderful feeling to experience my world and the lovely people in it, expanding.

I used to look at world clocks and keep track of time in a few places as I imagined people at different times in their days.

Now, I look at the clock and I imagine so many more of you, in so many more countries around the world. I think of you in your daily lives and I wish you happiness always.

We may be in different time zones, and we may be across the world from one another or only a few hours apart, but you are in my heart and now, a part of my world.

Thank you all for touching our lives and crossing our paths…

See you again soon.

It’s A Small World…After All

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We are loving Hong Kong. Dana and I were here 8 years ago but it’s so different this time with our boys. I’m finding that I am so much more interested in history, culture and truly experiencing a city, it’s people and all it encompasses, more than ever before. Part of the reason, I believe, is because I see the world through our children’s eyes and I realize that every single bit of this, is educational and part of their foundation.

Everything we see, touch, hear, smell, and taste will be a part of us forever. As we travel further and immerse ourselves in other societies, we feel more and more connected. We realize that the world, although it is vast in size, is actually quite small, when you experience the similarities and values others live by.

We may not look alike, or speak the same language. We also may not hold the same beliefs. This said, there are certain elements we find, weaving through the main thread, that tie all of us together and connect us to one another.

These elements are constant. We experience them every day as we walk around and take everything in that surrounds us. We witness community, family, togetherness, respect, love and diligence…to name a few. I am overwhelmed each day with thoughts that I want to express because of the depth of my emotions and my connection to a world I now feel ONE with.

Today, we took the boys to Hong Kong Disneyland. You can imagine how excited they were. It was amazing to walk through the entrance and feel like we were right there, in California, at the Disneyland we’ve been going to since they were babies. We didn’t see another American, yet we felt like we were home. We were so happy enjoying the simple and magical moments throughout our day.

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As we floated through It’s A Small World, the boys sang with enthusiasm and got so excited as we named the entrance to each continent. They loved pointing out every object and recalling their experiences in those places. I witnessed them, on a Disneyland ride, across the world from their home, understanding and appreciating the differences and at the same time, knowing that we are only separated geographically, and not as humans. This is the conversation we had, as we sat on the curb, eating a delicious Mickey Mouse waffle.

I am grateful to share this Small World with you.

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Elephant Trekking in Thailand

We had the most wonderful time with these sweet and gentle creatures.
This was our second time riding elephants in Thailand and the first with our boys. It was a truly special and magical experience.

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We enjoyed feeding and smothering these beautiful souls with many hugs and kisses.
We will be back and can’t wait to see these precious elephants again.

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