Reporting for Duty – Military vs. Civilian Life

“Hello. I’m writing from home but I’m not at home.”

Whose’s writing from where? Actually more like texting or messaging from here to there or there to here. It depends who you are on what time you are. Being in the military means being two people in one. A soldier. A civilian. Still a person.

In a neomorphic collision of inter-earthly worlds, Soldiers interchange identities. 

Uniforms, uniformity and a commitment to service dominate military life. Soldiers go where directed. They provide service where and when they are needed. Military life commands a call to duty. A call to service. A call to serve bigger than themselves.

Civilian life clamors for uniqueness, individuality and self-empowerment. It values flexibility, spontaneity and creative engagement. Civilian life is like a do-it-yourself or a take-it-at-your-own-pace, a self-directed course in life living.

Then it happens. You, your family and your friends are hanging out in your custom designed canoe.  Paddling through not-so-bad waters

Then it hits. Like the torrential downfall of misguided waterfall appearing mid-stream. Orders are issued. There’s no place to land. So you do what any normal soldier does. You jump. You hit the water running. They re-arrange themselves and keep paddling. The distance between you and them become more like lifetimes of distant, outdated memories. 12 o 18 months across countries. Across worlds might as well be across lifetimes.

Back home, the unstructured zaniness of civilian life clamors on without you. The once familiar …

“What’s for dinner?” 
“Where’s grandma? The neighbors called. She ditched her dentures in their backyard again.”
“Who used my toothbrush?”
“What, you flunked 1st grade for the 3rd time?”
“If it’s not your fault the dog ate the turkey than whose is it?”

A canter and a language no longer you own.

Coming home … who moved the canoe?

In the wake of the splash, your families and friends re-adjust; without you.  New roles are taken. New structures and daily routines formed; without you. They moved on; without you.

For you, coming home means hopping in the canoe where you left it. Only now it’s gone. It’s left without you. It moved on. You’re only chance is to chase it down and hope there is still room for you. The insider gone outsider.

ReStory Support

Magical trinkets. Electronic devises. Kind words. Unexpected smiles and encouraging words all make our journey easier. More palatable. More humane.  For soldiers and their families needs a bit of extra support, Give an Hour gives the tools of free, confidential counseling.

Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Lives

Karin Volo – Bringing Joy to the World!

“Every day I had to make a conscious choice between love and fear.
I chose love and it eventually won—as it always will.”
  Karin Volo

Karin Volo, a nationally and internationally known, acclaimed business developer, success coach, and Mother of two children, ages 6 and 8, entered into the airport in San Diego, CA for a return flight to her home in Sweden. Exactly one week prior to this, some of Karin’s wildest dreams came true. She and her family moved into their dream home. She and her new life partner, after watching the Law of Attraction movie “The Secrete”, were eagerly preparing for the expansion of Karin’s already successful business into two more countries.

Standing in line with the man of her dream and new business partner, waiting to board their flight home. Karin, receiving a tap on her shoulder turned. Her eye met those of a US Marshall in March of 2006. An encounter that would change her life and the life of her family’s forever, as Karin left the airport, not on an air plane, but handcuffed in the back of a police car.

Facing uncertain charges; ones that she was never convicted of or sentenced for, she remained behind bars at the San Diego jail for next 1,342 days, without a chance to say or hug her children good-bye. New new life partner returned to their home in Sweden without her. He then had to tell her children the devastating news of why their Mom was not there and what had happened.

Also and isolated in a jail cell in a country that was not her own, her life stood in ever wavering jeopardy. She faced the terrifying possibly of extradition to Mexico, dehumanizing strip searches and forced pat downs and head counts . . . With feelings of fear and terror threatening to over take her, determined, she put into practice what she had learned in the movie the Secret. Armed with a book entitled “Yoga for Dummy’s” and raw courage, she stepped forward in service to herself, her family and her fellow inmates for the next 1,342 days. During this time she led other imprisoned women in powerful visualizations focusing on specific aspects of their lives beyond iron bars and guarded cement walls. Through these powerful visualizations these women felt the experiences of lovingly transporting their children from one activity to another . . . celebrating their personal educational, career or other life accomplishments as she supported them in their dreams. Through these experiences Karin courageously embraced the knowledge of and belief in the idea that today’s reality will never be tomorrow’s destiny.

Armed once again with various books from the prison’s library, Karin studied meditation and spirituality. During her own daily meditation sessions the image of a young girl by the name of Joy spoke to Karin. In the course of her communication with Joy, Karin authored 27 books relating the deeper spiritual truths that she was studying and translated them into a way that her children could understand. The messages of Joy becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day. Until, one by one, Karin wrote, illustrated and sent this series of Joy books to her children still living in Sweden. It was through Joy that Karin and her family embarked on a life transforming, Spiritual journey together. A journey took them beyond the perimeters of prison walls and geographic boarders.

Karin’s story so immeasurably touched me in several ways. One, by the incredible gift she gave her family during these indescribably personally challenging times. How her books, her words, her presence, her Mothering stood out so incredibly strong and far-reaching. I am too inspired by the strength of Karin’s love and parenting as she continued nourishing and nurturing herself as well as her family and friends through these inspirational stories. While Karin could not be there in person, she was present in so many other ways. I can only catch a glimpse of what it may have been like as her children unexpectedly received these cherished gifts. Then, approximately 3 years and 10 months later, receiving the news that she, their Mother, was finally on her way home.

Thank you Karin and Joy for Bringing Joy to the World!

Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Lives