Cosmic Cow Pie: Connecting the Dots


Where Are You Supposed To Be? Thinking Global Acting Local

Where are you supposed to be?  Thinking Global, Acting Local, going "glocal" with the "Real Reason Rule™."                                   

Do you appreciate the concept that everything happens for a reason? I am a firm believer in this philosophy and know all our experiences are directed from a higher source. When going through something, many times it might not be until you get in the middle of it do you see the "real reason" something transpired. Our global lesson proved this theory showing how the "Real Reason Rule™" works.


My husband Tom and I have been on a journey around the world and in the middle of the South China Sea we got a call from family letting us know that his 92 year old mother had been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Serious thoughts of guilt began to rise as we thought about her original concern with us taking the trip at her age. Gertrude, Tom's mother, was not in bad health when we left so we felt that 104 days should not be a problem and we proceeded with our plans.  We had driven to Colorado from Arizona for Thanksgiving prior to embarking on our January voyage to say our personal goodbyes and hopefully made her feel better about the trip.

Upon receiving the news about his mother, Tom checked in frequently with his sister, about his mother's condition.  Gertrude improved and was quickly moved to a re-hab facility which was good news for all of us. The news of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011 was also starting to undermine the thoughts of everyone on the ship including our family watching the news and knowing we were very close in the China Sea. The only news coming through on the satellite to the ship was the Aljzeera network which continually repeated the bad news about the global disaster in Japan.  Prior to the incident in Japan we did not have any news at all on the TV so getting to catch up through the broadcast was helpful as we processed what was going on in the world around us as we gradually approached Japan.

The decision was made by the trip organizers to cancel the stop in Japan and change the last port before Hilo, Hawaii to Taiwan. Tom and I started to think about how his mother loved looking forward to visits from us so we decided that disembarking after Hong Kong and Shanghi then going to Colorado to be with her might help the healing process.  We e-mailed and called our daughter in Arizona and a friend in Colorado asking for help with trip plans as the Internet service on the ship was not working well and we wanted to take action immediately.  All of the flights leaving Hong Kong on the short notice were going though Japan and that global stop was not an option. Our daughter booked us a flight leaving from Shanghi direct to Los Angeles. Nineteen hours later we were in Phoenix, Arizona on solid ground, happy to be in the United States of America.  The fifteen hour time change was quite an adjustment as we crossed the international dateline we had the opportunity to live March 30th twice.

There were several reasons we decided to disembark from the journey early.

  1. Tom's 92 year old mother was in re-hab after contracting pneumonia.
  2. The Japan disaster was a looming danger which caused some concern for our family.
  3. The ports of call on the trip were almost complete.  Having lived in Maui, Hawaii for three years, the last stop in Hilo was just extending the voyage time.
  4. 21 more days of crossing the Pacific was not going to add to our Global knowledge as the international cultural engagement had been completed.
  5. My head needed to re-boot with all the global experiences before I could accurately write about the lessons and rules that unfolded in each country.

To our friends who indicated that 104 days on the ocean might be too much, you were right! We were soWelcome to LA happy to see the sign "Welcome to the United States of America" and Welcome to Los Angeles.

Why is she explaining all this you may be asking? To share how this global activity shaped our local experience in allowing us to travel back to Colorado and be where we needed to be for two very important reasons we were not aware of at the time we made the reservations.  Everything happens for a reason and the "Real Reason Rule™" became clear after this adventure.

Five days after making the decision to disembark, while still on the ship we had a call from the son of a close family friend. His mother had passed away and they were having the services on April 8, 2011.  I was able to assure him that we would be there and would be able to help with anything that needed to be completed.  He was so appreciative that we would be able to attend and be there with his family.

Seven days after we had decided to leave and still on the ship, our daughter in Phoenix called, very upset as she had totaled her car. She was not hurt but frightened and needed the support of her family. We had made arrangements for her to fly to Colorado to see her grandmother as we were going to drive and she could not take off more than a weekend. We were all together this past weekend and it was a healing event for everyone as we were all together and able to make plans for the future and move upward with our thoughts supporting one another.

The celebration of life service for our family friend of thirty years, Cindee Murphy, helped me continue in mental growth about life and it's meaning. Cindee's son Kip delivered a memorial speech talking about the hyphen between the dates of her birth July 17, 1943 and her death March 27, 2011.  Creative writting has been going on while working on a chapter about the meaning of a persons "dash" and several new ideas connected as he spoke so lovingly of his mother.  The family had Santana and Pink Floyd playing as they flashed photos of her life on the two big screens.  I was moved beyond description as I saw my picture included in the family treasures. I started thinking about all our experiences and how she would be missed then my thoughts turned to the higher meaning of her life and what she gave to us and what we gave to her.  Cindee Murphy's dash made a difference in the world.  She always completed her real estate business with unblemished ethics and set the bar for high standards in the industry.  We were  sounding boards for each other on ideas that were outside of the box and she was always respectful and kind in the way she responded.   Based on Cindee's request she had us dance out of the hall with Santana blaring thinking only happy thoughts of Love.

Creating letters to friends and relatives upon passing is something I had only seen in movies and read neclace and braceletsabout in books and had never experienced receiving a letter from anyone I knew that had passed.  Cindee's son brought me a letter she had written to me along with a beautiful red bag that contained two hand beaded, purple necklaces and bracelets Cindee had made especially for me.  I wept as I read the letter and will only share one sentence Cindee wrote to me:  " gave me one of the biggest gifts anyone has been able to give me.  That was to constantly reinforce my relationship and love with my son, Shawn." Remembering conversations in the past helped me realize how  verbal exchange really does affect people and how important positive reinforcement is in our relationships.  I know I will take this lesson from Cindee and start to write letters to my friends and family,  letting them know what they have done for me and how they have helped me with along the way. I plan deliver those letters NOW to start discussion on how important everyone is and how who they are has made a difference in my life.  Hopefully, dear reader this might touch you and the "pay it forward concept" in sharing how someone has helped you makes a difference in both your dash and their dash.

Had we not made the arrangements to get off the ship early we would have missed this once in a lifetime opportunity to share with family and friends the celebration of life of a very special individual, Cindee Murphy.  I am so grateful to have learned the "real reason rule™" and realize how important it is to listen and then respond accordingly when ideas come, as everything happens for a reason.

Gertrude RileyWe were able to be where we needed to be and did not know the "real reason" to disembark until we had already made plans to leave. Tom's mother is recovering beautifully and two families who really needed support got our love and physical presence because we listened and believed that everything happens for a reason.  Taking this global lesson and applying it to local situations makes this glocal lesson the "real reason rule™."

 Where in the world is Carra Riley contest is still active and will continue as originally outlined until April 24, 2011.  New photos are being posted on facebook and flickr daily along with  youtube videos of the port adventures.  The game is still on winner to be announced May 13, 2011.


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Cosmic Cow Pie

Carra Riley

Comment balloon 19 commentsCarra Riley & Declan Kenyon • April 12 2011 04:52AM


You've found the real reason rule Carra & it's good that you are back on solid ground I'm sure with mixed feelings of everything happening...may it all work out well for have shared and amazing journey!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Ginny ~  Thanks so much.  Now the real blog posts will begin with each country.  It was so very difficult for me to write and connect dots in the ship environment.  Hard to explain but I feel so much freer, away from specific "agendas" and able to process the thoughts that have been coming.  So stay tuned there are lots more photos of the places and rules from the experiences!  Thanks for going with me... it was so fun having you along the way... we still have a long way to go.   The feelings in Ghana, Africa threw me for a loop as it was not the message I thought I would hear and processing how to share it has been a challenge but the answer is coming!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 9 years ago

WELCOME HOME!  So sorry to hear about Tom's mother.  Prayers for all.

Posted by Sandi 4E over 9 years ago

Hey Sandi~  Thanks... will be back in Williams, AZ on Sunday!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 9 years ago

Hey Carra - wow things clearly do pop up for a reason. I'm glad that you followed your heart and came home to be with loved ones who needed you.  I look forward to hearing more about your adventure.  Welcome home sweetie!  Missed you!!!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRS, Broker, Instructor, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) over 9 years ago

Carra ~ What a wonderful "It happens for a reason" story ~ I am a firm believer in it happens for a reason, but not so much Frank ~ I'm working on him about this ~

Posted by Karen Baker, Professional Help with Rapid Responses... (Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty) over 9 years ago

What a nice blessing your friend left you. That must feel amazing to receive something so special. I agree that things happen for a reason and sometimes we don't know the reason- and that is o.k.

I can't wait to read your future posts.

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) over 9 years ago

Welcome home my friend! Glad we got a few minutes to speak today! So happy you are back with family, friends and feeling where you belong. It will take some time to process and we will be waiting.

If members  only read one post this week... I would hope this is the one!  We need to take some time and absorb your powerful words.

 If this is an indication of your  writing, there is a best seller coming! 


Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 9 years ago

Carra - Very touching post ..... everything does happen for a reason ..... there is a time and a place for everything ..... your trip was the right time when you started it and your return happened because you were in the right place at the the right time when you needed to be.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Hi Carra,

My mother taught me the "everything happens for a reason" rule at a very young age and if I was not a firm believer also, my inner peace might be at risk some times. This was a very moving story with a great moral. Thanks for sharing a piece of your life and the strength of friendship and support.

Posted by Tric over 9 years ago

Carra, I think this is one of your best pieces ever-beautifully told from the heart.

It's a wonderful reminder to stop and allow the lessons to unfold. We're always in such a hurry,

Posted by Beth Larsen, Sedona Arizona (RE/MAX Sedona) over 9 years ago


Sounds like the Holy Spirit guided you. Love , family and friends reasons for living!

Posted by Tracy Lee Parker, Buy*Sell*Lease (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs/PLATINUM PROPERTIES & MANAGEMENT) over 9 years ago

Carra....welcome back from a "trip of a lifetime",experienced, shared & related to others.  If we all took the time to make a "trip" if only within ourselves & our lives, we could be presented many opportunities to see the 'realness' of our reality.  have a great rest of the week.


Posted by Barb & Sal Dragotta, Macomb County Michigan over 9 years ago

Carra, welcome home.  This was very touching and I am also so glad you were home in time to celebrate your friend's life.  

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 9 years ago

Anna~  We have to make a plan!  Missed you too!

Karen~  I keep learning it over and over... I hope I got it this time! Thank you.

Kristi~  I did feel very special... so much that I want to make others feel the way she made me feel.. You can catch up on the past posts on the blog.. more to come too!

Margaret ~  You are one special friend... so glad it moved you.  I have so many other posts that get even deeper than this so it will be fun to share and read what people are thinking.  The defrag and re-boot and processing time... is working well now.  I can think again and dots are connecting!  Thanks for going on the journey with us!

Kathy ~ you summed it up perfectly!  Thanks for sharing!

Tric ~  Thank you.. there are so many more lessons that will be fun to share and learn together.  I did connect the dots around the world.. now all I have to do is write about it! 

Beth~  So sweet and thank you... when are you coming to Williams to hang out... we can "debrief" together!

Tracy ~  You are so right... it was Divine guidance and I am so grateful to have listened and acted.

Barb ~ You have hit the nail on the head... one of the last things I am going to be closing the book with is that the world is with you everyday and everywhere you are... we just have to listen and then respond to the direction we are given every single day.

Susan~  It might sound trite but it meant the world to me to be there with all of them.  Thank you.


Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 9 years ago

Carra - I followed your journey with avid interest from monkey bites to the grand gestureof love offered up by the Taj Mahal.  I love to travel but coming home is pretty grand too.  Welcome home!

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 9 years ago

Norma ~  It was so fun having you along the way!  Now that I am out and the air is clear there will be many more posts!  Thanks again for sharing with me on the voyage.. it was a lot of fun!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 9 years ago

Welcome, welcome, welcome.  It is so good to know you are safe.  I am been wondering about you from time to time. Having been on several cruises I can relate not only to being back on solid ground but back to normal routine.  Take time to regroup.

My mother still uses the phrases 'everything happens for a reason' and 'make time for family & friends' and both run through my head often.  Good choice to return home early.

Later . . .

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Mary ~  Thanks so much.. Mother's are so smart!  Great to be back and working on a post about the Realtor Association in North Metro Denver that is linked with Thinking Global, Acting Local... Love it when all the dots connect! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 9 years ago