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A Secret to Pleasant Travels—Expect Nothing

September 15, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”
― Stephen W. Hawking

I write this post on a plane from LA to Maui. Naturally thoughts concerning the vacation have crossed my mind every now and again—but not frequently. I think that is so for two reasons: (1) I travel a lot so this is not unique, and (2) I really have no grandiose expectations of Hawaii. I have been there several times. At 70 years old come Monday the 16th, the idea of showing my body in swimming trunks next to a pool is not very appealing, the laid back Hawaiian persona is not as attractive as it once was, I have no interest in Hawaiian shows, boat trips, or not even that much interest in snorkeling—which once was a grand joy.

Why Go on a Trip You Don’t Care About?

So, why, I’m sure you ask am I going to Hawaii for vacation? Easy. Pam and I are very busy with our work and commitments. This trip required minimal planning, it is only ten days, and the cost is reasonable—Pam is great at “finding deals!” The wedding of our son Austin and his ever so delightful fiancée Maggie, seems to consume enough time and energy to prevent delving into the details of planning the kind of trip we might usually take—Japan or Europe or even southeast Asia.

Last week, a friend asked if I was excited to go on this trip. He was surprised when I responded with, “No, I’m just going and I’ll wait to see how it turns out.” I have almost no expectations so the adventure can only get better. Since I expect little, something enchanting will be a pleasant surprise.

The Wonder of “Wait and See”

And then that go me thinking: what if we approached life in more of a “wait and see” mode instead of always expecting or hoping that whatever it is we are doing will be great? “Great” is a most difficult expectation to meet. But when we are only simply expect some type of “experience” it is much more difficult to be disappointed because the experience we expect is not laden with hopes or desires.

Your life can be full. It can be pleasant. It can be great or… not so great. Nevertheless, it can still be full once you understand the power of fully embracing the present moment. Things like riding on an airplane and observing people, watching movies, reading or writing, or chatting with my wife as she attempts to connect with Wifi in the sky. (Nightmare.) Hahaha. Just another travel story to tell.

So, I do look forward to this trip after all. Perhaps more than any other to Hawaii because I look for nothing, expect little, and accept whatever may come my way.

Surprise Comes When You Least Expect It

Photo courtesy of MichaelJust at istockphoto


#123 Wendy Hooper Ross: Life After Loss

September 10, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes 

Today we are privileged to have with us Wendy Hooper Ross, a successful real estate agent and residential market analyst.

Wendy’s story will most certainly resonate with all of us as we discuss loss, grief and recovery.

Wendy met her future husband at an industry event in 2011 and soon became incredibly close friends over the next few years. They finally admitted they were made for each other and began their romance in early 2017. Soon after, her husband’s cancer, which had been in remission for nearly 3 years, came back and they went headlong into the battle together. It became clear in 2018 that he was losing his fight and they were married. 41 days later he was gone.

Wendy says, “I lost my love and my dearest friend that day. Now a new life begins.”

So let’s chat with Wendy about loss, grief and recovery.


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When Enough is Enough

September 7, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Whatever you did today is enough. Whatever you felt today is valid. Whatever you thought today isn’t to be judged.”
― Brittany Burgunder

My friend and frequent podcast guest, Terry Hershey, often speaks of wading in to life with grace. On one show I asked him to define grace since it is fraught with such a huge field of meaning, with both religious and non-religious connotations.
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#122 Terry Hershey: Embracing Woundedness

September 4, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes  

On our show today we are privileged to have our regular insightful guest Terry Hershey: prolific author, renowned public speaker, landscape architect, an mentor to several people on the Art of Slowing Down to take in the pleasure of life.

My approach will be for our show today will totally unique. If you are a regular listener you know that Terry posts a weekly newsletter called Sabbath Moment. What I want to do today is to read quotes from several different Sabbath Moments and ask Terry to comment or elaborate.

So let’s get into it with Terry Hershey.

For more information on Terry Hershey you can visit

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Be Curious and Explore Your “Explorer”

August 31, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

“Stand in as many pairs of shoes as you can manage, even ones you consider reprehensible or repulsive — even if it’s just for a moment. If you’re going to be a tourist, be a respectful one. Observe, report, imagine, invent, have fun…” Ben Folds

On my most recent donor trips to Uganda, I traveled with one of our guests, Anna. Anna is a 24-year-old nurse that works in a hospital Emergency Room and is about to enter her first year of medical school to become a physician. The pressure common to an ER nurse allows her a lot of time off, which she devotes to world travel. Anna’s greatest fear in life is boredom. She hungers for new learning experiences and meeting new people.
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