Tapping Into the Power of Imagination

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As a child, I often heard the words, “What an imagination you have!” It wasn’t always a compliment. It’s true, however. My imagination helped me to deal with my nighttime fears. Creating my own world and escaping into it every night allowed me to fall asleep.

My imagination grew stronger and more powerful, as I grew older. After I faced down my fears and moved beyond them, as an adult, I recognized the connection between my re-emerging creativity and shifting reality and the imagination I’d long nurtured.

Because there’s a connection as well between imagination and manifestation. Every human creation and invention began in someone’s imagination. It’s not just an inventor’s special gift though. Tapping into the power of imagination is available to all of us.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination title meme

 

What Is Imagination?

First of all, what is imagination?

Imagination uses our experiences and knowledge of the world and combines them with the unknown to create something new. Using imagination we create an image…or a whole world…in our mind and interact with it there.

Imagination allows us freedom to explore new thoughts and ideas that lie beyond the physical world, launching us into the dream realm where anything is possible and creativity is strongest.

Science suggests that engaging in imagination fires up large areas of the brain while creating a powerful, interconnecting neural network.

Why Is Imagination Important?

Albert Einstein famously said:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Children instinctively engage their imaginations. Watch any child at play and you’ll see them pretend and create. Imagining is how children learn and grow, explore and discover. However, somewhere between youth and adulthood, we disconnect from imagination, dismissing it as fanciful or a waste of time.

Imagination is a powerful tool for living an expansive, creative, joy filled life. And it does more than shift mindset. It helps to create reality, for what we think about and focus on…good or bad…shows up in our world. As I often share, our outer worlds are mirrors of our inner thoughts and our imaginations.

We can develop our imaginations, even if it’s been many years since we’ve actively engaged them. And if our imagining tends toward the negative…we call that worrying…we can shift those thoughts to the positive. And we want to, because a negative imagination creates a negative reality to dwell in.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination giraffesf Imagination
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – bronze giraffes at Mercy Park spark my imagination

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination

These 10 tips revitalize imagination, opening up creativity and shifting awareness. Think of these exercises as ways to reconnect with your inner child, who always knows how to imagine in big ways.

Write

Free writing daily allows thoughts to flow from the brain to paper. It’s important to not overthink or edit the words. Just let them appear on the paper and keep writing for 10 – 15 minutes.

Set a timer on your phone and write. Many agree that writing first thing in the morning is the best time to wake up the brain and tap into creativity. You don’t need to choose a topic or craft a story. Instead, jot down whatever comes to mind. A few days in to free writing, you might find long buried ideas surfacing or fresh thoughts providing fodder for creative projects. Don’t judge what you write. Capture your thoughts and move on.

Color

A few years ago, the adult coloring craze launched a host of coloring books covering a variety of interests. I wholeheartedly embraced the trend.

And art therapy is more than a trend actually. It helps reduce anxiety and stress. I find it a satisfying way to express creativity and tap into my imagination. Plus the act of laying color down on paper is a form of meditation.

Best of all, no one is grading your coloring ability. Feel free to literally color outside the lines, make the sky purple or try out different shading techniques.

Grab a coloring book and colored pencils and see where your imagination takes you.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination coloring
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – coloring is a great way to open imagination

Nurture Empathy

Imagination and empathy share the ability to imagine ourselves in another’s situation. The greater the imagination, the more empathy we can show.

It follows, therefore, that nurturing empathy towards others helps broaden imagination. Practice becoming more aware of the feelings and emotions of others. Think about how you’d feel, in the same situation. Imagine what you’d do and the impact the situation would have on you.

Allow the resulting feelings and insights to guide you in gaining a better understanding of others, of the world, of experiences that are different from yours.

Often, when something challenging happens to someone, we respond with the words, “I just can’t imagine…” I discovered recently that to those who are hurting, those words come across as “What you are experiencing is so awful, I can’t even imagine it.” That’s not helpful at all, even though we might mean well.

Imagine it. Put yourself in her place. And feel with her and for her as your empathy guides actions.

Visualize Goals

Ready to make changes in your life? Start with imagining a goal…and the steps needed to accomplish it.

Using imagination in this way stimulates the brain in the same way that actually performing the task does. Athletes improve their skills and abilities by visualizing their performances. You can do this too. It’s as simple as closing your eyes and imaging each step needed to reach your goal.

Another helpful practice is to create a vision board. Include goals, dreams and hopes. Look at the vision board every day and imagine both the accomplishments and how you feel.

Visualization nudges the brain into looking for ways to bring those goals into reality. Stay open and aware of opportunities.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination visualize
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – visualize

Keep a Dream Journal

When the subconscious and imagination meet, we dream. Many people report that they do not remember their dreams. However, keeping a journal and learning to unpack dreams opens the mind to truths about ourselves.

We work out problems in our dreams, revisit the past and create for the future there as well. It’s worth taking a few minutes every morning to jot down dreams.

I’m a lucid dreamer, aware that what I’m experiencing is a dream. I find great insights when I examine my dreams, especially the ones that don’t seem to make sense while they are unfolding.

Recently I dreamed of a river next to my house. In the dream I said aloud that I knew I was dreaming because I live in a city, with no water in sight. I decided to enjoy the dream while it lasted. As I sat next to the flowing river, a large turtle climbed out of the water and rested next to me, allowing me to pet him while he nuzzled against my leg.

I felt so happy about that turtle when I woke up. Unpacking the dream, I looked up turtle energy. When the turtle shows up it symbolizes longevity, perseverance, steadfastness, healing, tranquility and transformation, all qualities I’m happy to embrace in my life.

Learn to look for the symbols imagination plants in your dreams. Don’t try to make sense of them. Rather, allow them to speak to you about the deep recesses of your mind, heart and soul.

Rearrange the Familiar into Something New

Decluttering a room or the whole house and rearranging living spaces is an excellent way to ramp up imagination. Move furniture around. Get rid of excess. Uncluttered spaces allow for a better flow of energy which positively affects imagination and creativity.

Get creative with decor. Do you always decorate for the holidays using the same items, in the same places? Switch things up.

I love to lay out all of my decorations on the bed, and then find new ways to use them. It’s a fun form of imaginative play to rearrange the familiar and create something fresh and new.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination rearrange
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – rearrange the familiar into something new

Get Into Nature

Spending time in nature, walking in the woods, sitting near water all revitalize the body and free the mind to imagine. Engage your senses. Listen to the sounds of nature, feel the breeze, watch insects flitting by. Breathe deeply and relax. And allow the mind to wander, flitting like the insects from idea to idea.

Frequent walks outdoors boosts creativity and imagination by giving the mind a break, which allows ideas to flow. Check out other benefits from being in nature HERE.

Play

Play is necessary, for cultivating a creative, imaginative life. Children naturally engage in play as a way of learning and figuring out how things work.

For adults, play helps us find joy in life, allows us to figure out who we truly are, rather than who others want us to be, and sparks creativity born from an active imagination.

Even routines become fun when interjecting play. Dance and make up a song while cleaning the kitchen. Make a game out of folding laundry, pulling weeds or painting the porch.

Let go of outcomes, enter into the flow of playfulness and watch your imagination ignite.

Need inspiration? Engage with children and let them show you how to play again. Forget rules. Just play, pretend and have fun.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination play
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – play, as a child plays

Open to Positive Possibilities

Worry is praying for things you don’t want to happen. Imagination works whether we think about positive things…or negative ones. Rather than imagining the bad things that can happen, learn to stop that train of thought and imagine positive outcomes, happy events and joyful activities.

Say the word STOP and change your thoughts. Keep changing them as often as necessary.

When I travel, rather than worrying about what can go wrong, I learned to imagine the trip in wonderfully rich detail. Where would I walk? What would I wear? Engaging my imagination in this way led to a totally different way of preparing for trips.

I study maps of the area I’m staying in, learn the streets and where the sites are that I want to visit. Then, weeks or months even before the trip, I walk those streets, visit those locations, feel the sun on my face, hear the sounds around me….all in my imagination. It’s become an extraordinary way to anticipate a trip and it greatly reduces any anxiety I might have. When I arrive at my destination, there’s a sense of familiarity, even though the experiences are new.

I am creating my reality and then stepping into it in very positive ways.

Next year, I’m taking this technique farther, imagining trips long before I actually book them.

Follow Curiosity

One of the best ways to explode imagination is to follow curiosity. See where that trail leads.

Read a book or watch a video, to learn more about anything that grabs your interest. Google to answer a question. Take the road less traveled, to see where it goes. Pursue the “what ifs”. Stare down fear and walk into new territory and try new experiences. Create a daydreaming space. Spend time in your dream space and allow your imagination to take the lead. Follow it to see where it goes.

Read more about developing a curiosity mindset HERE.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination curiosity
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – curiosity. I’m excited to follow mine with The Adventure Challenge next year.

What Can You Imagine?

How is your imagination? Is it healthy, powerful and helping you manifest the reality you desire to live in?

If not, may these exercises help you connect to the imagination of your childhood. Imagine what is possible…and make possible what you imagine.

Imagine what's possible

 

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Ghost Stories from Rome

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Ah, Rome…the ancient capital city of Italy. Founded in 753 BC, this city features stunning architecture such as the Colosseum, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. It was the center of a vast empire that ruled the European continent for centuries.

In Rome, spirits abound. How could they not, with its long and oft times turbulent history.

For the fourth installment in the October series, here are ghost stories from Rome.

Ghost Stories from Rome title meme

Ghost Stories from Rome

This collection of stories represent the old city well. Like many big cities, Rome never sleeps. People enjoy themselves well into the night.

Be in the right place at the right time, after dark, and you might experience one of Rome’s famous hauntings.

Beatrice Cenci

Perhaps the most famous of Rome’s ghost, Beatrice…born in 1577…belonged to one of the city’s leading families. Her tragic story inspired painters, poets and novelists.

The noblewoman’s father, Francesco, was controlling and abusive. After years of enduring his violence, Beatrice reported him. Her requests for help ignored, the young woman, her brothers and stepmother decided to kill Francesco.

Driven by despair, the man’s family gave him opium to make him sleep and then beat him with a rolling pin and hammer. They threw his body off a balustrade, to simulate an accident.

Authorities were not fooled. After eventually receiving full confessions from the family members, they were sentenced to death by beheading and executed at dawn on September 11, 1599, on Ponte Sant’Angelo. According to her last wishes, Beatrice was buried in an anonymous tomb in the cemetery of San Pietro in Montorio.

Every year, on the night of September 10, Beatrice’s ghost walks back and forth across Ponte Sant’Angelo…the bridge leading to Castel Sant’Angelo…cradling her severed head in her hands.

Ghost Stories from Rome beatrice centi
Ghost Stories from Rome – Beatrice Cenci haunts the Ponte Sant’Angelo

The Executioner of Rome

Beatrice’s ghost isn’t the only one wandering near the castel.

Mastro Titta (1779 – 1869) put 514 people to death, during his 70 years as Rome’s official executioner. Mastro lived on the other side of the Tiber River, because executioners were not allowed to dwell within the city walls. He only crossed over the river on the Ponte Sant’Angelo at dawn on the day of an execution.

His methods of execution included hanging, beating and beheading. To calm the condemned, Mastro offered them a pinch of snuff.

Just before sunrise, Mastro appears near Castel Sant’Angelo, wrapped in a red cloak. He supposedly loves to walk near the places of his executions. And he still offers the unsuspecting a pinch of snuff. If you meet this cloaked ghost and he offers you snuff…run.

Ghost Stories from Rome castel sant'angelo
Ghost Stories from Rome – Mastro Titta roams near Castel Sant’Angelo

Costanza Conti De Cupis

This interesting ghost tale originated in the 17th century. Noblewoman Costanza Conti De Cupis haunts the family palace overlooking Piazza Navona.

Beautiful Costanza possessed the most perfect hands in the city. Artist Bastiano even made a plaster cast of one of Costanza’s hands and displayed it in his workshop for the citizens of Rome to admire.

One day a stranger…some say a friar of San Pietro…saw the plaster cast and prophesied that the woman would soon lose her hand. When Costanza heard the dire news, she withdrew into her home and refused to leave it, hoping to avoid the prediction.

However, while embroidering she pricked her finger with a needle. The small wound became infected. And then gangrene set in, causing her to lose her hand through amputation. Septicemia spread through her body and Costanza died a few days later.

It’s said when the moon shines on the windows of Costanza’s palace, which is now a luxury hotel, the woman’s ghostly hand…just her hand…appears at a window.

Ghost Stories from Rome hand
Ghost Stories from Rome – Costanza’s perfect hand

Nero’s Ghost

After Nero’s death in 68 AD, the eccentric emperor was buried in Piazza del Popolo. A walnut tree marked the site.

It’s said the negative energy from Nero’s bones attracted evil spirits and demons that took the form of black crows. They terrorized the residents in the area around the piazza, along with Nero’s ghost who wandered about as well. In 1099, the people appealed to Pope Pasquale II for help.

After receiving instructions in a vision, Pope Pasquale cut down the walnut tree, dug up Nero’s bones, burned them and scattered them in the Tiber River. Nero and the spirits disappeared and residents built a chapel where the tree once grew.

In 1472 Pope Sixtus V built the current Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo on the spot. Inside, above the main alter, an arch depicts the act of cutting down the tree.

Ghost Stories from Rome piazza del popolo
Ghost Stories from Rome – Nero’s bones beneath Piazza del Popolo

Ghosts of the Colosseum

The Colosseum is easily Rome’s most recognizable structure. Construction on the huge stadium began in 72 AD and finished eight years later. Intended for entertainment, the Colosseum served as the site for public executions and battles to the death between gladiators. Historians speculate that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 deaths occurred within those stone walls.

It’s easy to see why the Colosseum reigns as the most haunted place in Rome…and perhaps the world.

Many staff members and visitors report paranormal experiences here. A lone Roman soldier stands guard at night, when the structure is closed to visitors. Others see ghostly crowds in the Colosseum that suddenly disappear and hear the sounds of gladiator battles.  Moans, screams and cries of pain echo through the subterranean passageways. Visitors report drops in temperature, floating orbs of light and the growls of invisible captive animals as well.

Julius Caesar’s ghost roams near the Colosseum. Legend has it that Caesar’s ashes were interred in a lead ball in what is now Cairo. When the sphere moved to Vatican City in 1585, Pope Sixtus V opened it to see if the ashes remained, releasing Caesar’s ghost to wander.

Ghost Stories from Rome colosseum
Ghost Stories from Rome – Colosseum

Exploring Rome

My daughter, grandson and I visited Italy in 2017. Our explorations began in Rome and ended there 12 days later.

Although the city possesses incredible energy, I did not experience any paranormal activities there. I could, however, feel the heaviness within the Colosseum. With it’s complex history, I think most everyone does. Perhaps if I visited the stadium at night, with the throngs of people absent, I might catch sight of a Roman soldier or hear the cries of the gladiators. Maybe next time…

Have you visited The Eternal City?

Ghost Stories from Rome trip
Standing in the Colosseum in 2017

October Ghost Stories Series 2021

Charleston, South Carolina

Glasgow, Scotland

Carthage, Missouri

 

 


 

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What I’m Reading Currently and Why

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October is National Book Month, giving readers everywhere the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book…or two or five! There’s something about the coziness of fall that invites a cup of hot tea and a good book, right?

Reading is one of the best things you can do to boost mental health. It stimulates the brain and reduces stress. Plus reading regularly improves vocabulary, spelling and memory. It’s a way to explore, without leaving your home, and a gateway to new places and ideas. Reading opens the heart and mind, educates and inspires. And finally, reading is a fun form of entertainment.

For National Book Month, here’s what I’m reading currently and why.

What I'm Reading Currently and Why title meme

What I’m Reading Currently and Why

I have five books on the table next to my chair. One I’ve taken my time reading this year. Another I’m reading for the second time. The hefty volume from Anthony William is an excellent resource for health. I completed Steve’s book for writers  this month, however it’s such a great read that I’m keeping it nearby. And the last one in the stack I received in the mail over the weekend. I just started reading it.

Four of this month’s books are nonfiction while one is fictional, set in Charleston, South Carolina.

Below is a brief synopsis of each book…and why it’s on my Currently Reading List.

Women Who Run With the Wolves

This deeply spiritual book, written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, is a must for any woman who wants to connect more profoundly with herself.

Within every woman lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman who represents the instinctual nature of women.

Dr. Estes combines intercultural myths, fairy tales and stories to help women connect with the fierce, healthy, visionary aspects of self.

Why I’m Reading Women Who Run With the Wolves

This is my Year of the Wild Woman and what a great book to accompany me through 2021. It’s a deep read, stirring many thoughts and emotions in me, thus the slow journey through the book. I underline passages and take notes. I’m learning to unleash my inner wild woman and Clarissa’s book is the perfect guide for that desire.

Purchase Women Who Run With the Wolves HERE.

What I'm Reading Currently and Why wolves
What I’m Reading Currently and Why – Women Who Run With the Wolves

Write Like You Mean It

Author Steve Gamel offers keys to achieving writing success. Subtitled Mastering Your Passion for the Written Word, Steve shares stories from his own long writing career along with trade secrets, techniques and writing lessons for stronger content.

This incredibly helpful book covers the entire writing process, from the desire to write to organization to editing and publishing. Write Like You Mean It is perfect for aspiring or experienced writers, in all genres including blogging.

Read a more in depth review of the book HERE.

Why I Read Write Like You Mean It

This book was gifted to me by the publishers. However, I am asked daily to review books. I turn most of those requests down because I just don’t have time to do that many reviews. Occasionally though, a book so catches my interest that I agree. I am so grateful that I did for this book.

I love Steve’s conversational writing style. And his experiences in writing inspire me to keep improving what I create, day by day. This is a book I’ll re-read and refer to frequently.

Purchase Write Like You Mean It HERE.

What I'm Reading Currently and Why mean it
What I’m Reading Currently and Why – Write Like You Mean It

The House on Tradd Street

Author Karen White creates a thrilling…and spooky…mystery in this first book in a series of seven. Set in Charleston, South Carolina, the story follows an intriguing cast of characters, including Melanie Middleton, a realtor who sees ghosts.

Melanie specializes in the sale of historic homes. However, those old homes contain spirits that only she can see and hear. When an elderly man dies, and leaves Melanie his historic Tradd Street house, she discovers resident ghosts with secrets to reveal. With the help of writer Jack Trenholm, Melanie unravels a mystery of passion, heartbreak and murder.

Why I am Re-Reading The House on Tradd Street

The Tradd Street series inspired me to visit Charleston, to see the places that Karen so beautifully describes in the books. Since my return, I’m enjoying reading back through book one. It’s fun to recognize places such as Broad Street and the City Market and to clearly imagine Tradd Street after walking down that narrow lane several times.

The final book in the series, The Attic on Queen Street, releases in a couple of weeks. I’m excited to visit Charleston again, through this continuing story. After I finish book seven, I’ll write a review of the series.

Additionally, I relate to the character Melanie. She’s a psychic realtor who, in spite of her abilities, shows old houses and pushes beyond the fear. Sound familiar?

Order The House on Tradd Street HERE.

What I'm Reading Currently and Why tradd street
What I’m Reading Currently and Why – The House on Tradd Street

Cleanse to Heal

This health book in the Medical Medium series, written by Anthony William, offers a wealth of healing information. Pathogens and toxins are the cause of so many of our present day illnesses. Cleansing is a powerful way to nurture and protect the body while eliminating those troublemakers.

Anthony’s guide includes several different types of cleanses, 200 symptoms and conditions and precise supplement dosages to aid in your cleanse. And the oversized book features more than 75 delicious, health boosting recipes and sample menus.

Why I am Reading Cleanse to Heal

Fall is a great time to cleanse the body and boost the immune system. I’m doing the Anti-Bug Cleanse these last two weeks of October. The basics of this cleanse include drinking celery juice every morning, drinking at least 32 ounces of water a day, focusing on fruits and vegetables and avoiding certain foods.

I’m already plant based. During this cleanse I’m strictly avoiding salt, sugar, fats and oils plus vinegar, fermented foods and all grains except gluten free oats. Avoiding these foods while upping my nutritional level allows toxins to leave my blood and starves viruses and bacteria. I intend to enter the winter season, with its greater risk of bugs, as healthy as possible.

Purchase Cleanse to Heal HERE.

What I'm Reading Currently and Why cleanse
What I’m Reading Currently and Why – Cleanse to Heal

The Happy Inbox

This little gem in The Empowered Productivity series, written by Maura Nevel Thomas, comes with the subtitle: How to Have a Stress-Free Relationship with Your Email and Overcome Your Communication Clutter. Did you know that a cluttered inbox creates low level anxiety? That feeling arises from the backlog of emails, that continues to grow, and all those notifications on your apps.

Making peace with the inbox gets rid of the anxiety, increases the ability to retrieve info quickly and allows you to spend less time managing communication and more time working toward goals.

Why I Am Diving in to The Happy Inbox

The request asking me to review this book dropped into my email at the right time! I feel overwhelmed by the daily deluge of communications coming into my inbox. And talk about a backlog of emails. I currently have more than 20,000.

I said Yes! to reading and offering a review of this book. Plus I feel excited to learn management techniques to get my inbox under control, once and for all. I’ve only begun to read and love this book already. Watch for a full review in a couple of weeks.

Order The Happy Inbox HERE.

What I'm Reading Currently and Why happy inbox
What I’m Reading Currently and Why – The Happy Inbox

Celebrate National Book Month

Fun ways to celebrate this month long event include:

  • read a new book
  • re-read a favorite book
  • visit your local library
  • listen to an audible book
  • write a book review
  • send a letter or an email to a favorite author
  • read out loud to a child or an elderly person
  • organize a book swap
  • start a book club

And share with me what you are currently reading…and why…in the comments below!

 

What I'm Reading Currently and Why stack

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Ghost Stories from Carthage

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For the third installment in this year’s spooky series, I feature a town close to home. Located 15 miles northeast of Joplin, Carthage, Missouri is the county seat of Jasper County.

This charming town offers stately Victorian homes, an annual Maple Leaf Festival and Parade and a magnificent 126 year old courthouse that dominates the downtown square.

While Joplin has strong roots in the mining industry, Carthage is deeply connected to the Civil War. The first major battle of that war between the states took place in Carthage. Subsequent skirmishes severely impacted the community and ultimately, most of the town was burned to the ground.

Perhaps that’s why this community is home to so many restless spirits. These are five of the ghost stories from Carthage.

Ghost Stories from Carthage title meme

A Divided Community

Carthage, named after the ancient Phoenician city, became the county seat in 1841. The federal government bought the land that formed Jasper County from the Osage Tribe 33 years earlier. Gradually settlers arrived and the community grew around a public square. By 1851 a two story brick courthouse occupied the center of that square. Businesses opened up around the perimeter, providing goods and services to the citizens of the growing town.

Civil War

By the time of the Civil War, Carthage claimed about 500 residents. The area divided over the issue of slavery. Many of Carthage’s early settlers arrived from the south. Others participated in the Underground Railroad movement.

Missouri, a border state, did not secede from the union. To the north lay Union states and to the south, the Confederate states. Missouri contained both pro-Confederate and pro-Union governments. Southwest Missouri additionally experienced violent skirmishes due to guerilla warfare along the Kansas border.

On July 5, 1861, 16 days before the Battle of Bull Run, armies of the North and South clashed in Carthage. The Second Battle of Carthage occurred in October of 1863. Multiple battles and skirmishes in the area resulted in the burning of the town, including the brick courthouse, by pro-Confederate guerrillas in September 1864.

After the war the community built back and thrived. Businesses reopened and Victorian style houses rose along wide streets. Nearby limestone quarries contributed to the prosperity of the community. And Route 66 brought travelers and tourists.

That energy from the Civil War still lingers in Carthage. Stories abound about people hearing cannons booming, where none now exist, and the cries of soldiers in battle, long after the war ended. These are the ghost stories from Carthage.

Ghost Stories from Carthage battle
Ghost Stories from Carthage – battle marker

Kendrick House

On the northern edge of Carthage sits the oldest surviving house in Jasper County. The Kendrick house, completed in 1856, is one of only three area houses that did not burn during the Civil War.

William and Elizabeth Kendrick finished the big house on the prairie, that another owner began in 1849. They planted crops and orchards on the land and operated successful blacksmith and gunsmith shops for many years. The Kendrick Family descendants occupied the house for 130 years until Victorian Carthage bought the property in the 1980s.

During the Civil War both Union and Confederate troops used the house as a hospital. The Kendrick’s enslaved woman was tortured and hung in the orchard by Confederate guerrillas who thought she hid a Union soldier.

And the Kendricks experienced tragedy in the house. Three of their sons died during the war years. William died in 1868, followed four years later by his wife. A granddaughter and her husband raised their family in the home and lost their young daughter Pauline there. The last person to die in the house was Carol Sue, the great granddaughter of William and Elizabeth, who passed away from polio just shy of her third birthday.

The Ghosts of Kendrick House

A great deal of paranormal activity occurs in this house. Locally owned Paranormal Science Lab conducted research during Haunted History tours of Kendrick House.

Among the evidence collected:

  • EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) all over the house, many of which refer to local Civil War battles and generals. In total, EVPs captured 12 distinct voices.
  • shadow people caught on camera and seen visually
  • orbs, bright balls of light that move
  • apparitions in the house and yard, including a man in a war uniform and a young girl in a plaid dress that often walks to a neighboring house and passes through the back door
  • cold spots and hot spots
  • objects that move on their own, especially curtains in upstairs windows that are frequently disturbed even when no on is in the house
  • the sounds of children laughing and playing upstairs
  • the ghosts of Pauline and Carol Sue, the young girls who died in the house
  • footsteps going up and down the stairs, when no one living is walking there
  • a black mass that appears at the top of the stairs
Ghost Stories from Carthage kendrick house
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Kendrick House

Jasper County Courthouse

The massive courthouse presiding over the square is impressive. Built in 1895 from Carthage stone mined in the nearby quarries, the turrets, towers and arches give the Romanesque Revival building the look of a fortified medieval castle. It took the place of the brick courthouse that burned during the war. Two workmen supposedly died during the construction. One fell from the clock tower. Another died from a fall while installing the elevator.

Besides battles fought on the grounds, public executions took place on the courthouse lawn and many, many dramas played out within the formidable walls. It’s no wonder that ghosts appear on this property.

Apparitions flit across the lawn. Footsteps are heard in the attic and bell tower, when no one is up there. Shadow figures appear there as well. When paranormal investigators set up equipment in the courthouse, batteries quickly drained and filming and audio interruptions occurred. It’s believed that ghosts pull energy from such devices, to strengthen their own presence.

The most activity occurs on the third floor, occupied by the courtrooms and court offices. Disembodied voices are heard and a shadowy figure frequents the women’s restroom on the third floor. I find this interesting. While in the women’s restroom in the Charleston Courthouse, I experienced the shadowy figure of a man standing in the corner. He faded away as I watched him.

Ghost Stories from Carthage courthouse
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Courthouse

Burlingame and Chaffee Opera House

Across the street from the courthouse stands the Burlingame and Chaffee Opera House building. It occupies the footprint of two former buildings, destroyed during the Carthage battles. Francis Chaffee constructed the current building in 1878, opening a hardware store on the lower level while the opera house took up the entire second floor. For years the people of Carthage enjoyed a variety of entertainment in the opera house. Then tragedy marred the space.

John McCrillis, who had purchased the lower level hardware store, found love letters written to his wife, from another man. After inviting the offending man to breakfast, the two ended up in the hardware store, where McCrillis shot him. The man died outside in the street.

Over the years, the building changed hands frequently, housing a variety of businesses. Then it sat empty until a couple from California bought it, with the intention of living on the upper floor while running a business from the lower level. During renovations the couple encountered numerous strange experiences including unexplainable noises and footsteps in the dark building during the night. They abandoned the building after hearing what sounded like cannon fire in the middle of the night.

Opera Ghosts

The current owner operates McBride’s Antiques on the main level. The most common paranormal activities include:

  • hearing footsteps upstairs, in the empty opera house
  • being followed around the shop by an unseen presence
  • apparitions of a grandmotherly woman and young boy seen and heard on the main level
  • disembodied voices
  • the sound of a cash register ringing and coins falling in the old opera house upstairs…where no cash register exists anymore
  • a dark, heavy presence on the backstairs leading up to the opera house
  • a shadow figure captured on film, standing at an upstairs window
  • at 3:00 pm most days, the sound of someone falling down the backstairs
  • the sound of a piano playing in the basement, where a saloon once was
  • cannon fire, musket fire and a woman crying, all in the basement as well
  • the ghost of a young girl seen walking through the basement, and interestingly, in the basements of other buildings around the square
Ghost Stories from Carthage opera house
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Opera House

Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast

Built in 1893, this Queen Anne Victorian features stained glass windows, hardwood moldings and a grand staircase. For the past 23 years this beautiful “painted lady” functioned as a bed and breakfast offering guests a peek into the past with Victorian wallpapered rooms and antique furnishings.

One resident seems reluctant to leave this cozy space. No smoking is allowed in the house. However, guests report the strong and inexplicable scent of a cigar on the main level, in the parlor and dining room, when an unseen presence is around.

The smoking ghost is believed to be a former owner, Albert Carmean, who died in 1933.

Sadly, Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast closed due to COVID. Visit their website though, for photos of the interior. You might understand why Albert chooses to stay.

Ghost Stories from Carthage - Grand House
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast

Historic Phelps House

Also located on Grand Avenue, the Phelps House, built in 1895 from Carthage stone, is a whimsical mix of Beaux Arts, Classical Revival and Romanesque styles.

Colonel William Phelps built the home. An attorney, he became prominent in state politics and was actively involved in Carthage businesses. He knew tragedy however.

His first wife died in St. Louis in 1894, in a runaway carriage accident. She never got to live in the house. One of William’s daughters died at the age of 29, from tuberculosis. And a young son from William’s second marriage died while riding his bicycle in front of the house, after a car struck him.

The colonel’s second wife Bridgey sold the house to St. Ann’s Catholic Church Parish. Nuns who taught at St. Ann’s School occupied the house and used rooms on all three floors plus the basement as classrooms.

The Carthage Historic Preservation bought the deteriorating house in 1988 and restored it to its former grandeur. Today the property hosts weddings and events.

The ghosts at the Phelps House are benevolent. They turn off lights. Their footsteps are heard on the stairs. And unexplainable breezes spring up in closed rooms.

I include this haunting primarily because of my experience there. See my story about the Phelps House in the next section!

Ghost Stories from Carthage Phelps House
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Phelps House

My Experiences in Carthage

I love this charming community. My son and daughter in law and their family live in Carthage, so I visit this town often. And I’ve had several paranormal experiences there, including one while shooting photos in town earlier in the week. I wrote a post in 2015 about my experience in the old opera house. Read it HERE.

Kendrick House

Twice I’ve explored the Kendrick House, with the Paranormal Science Lab. It is fascinating, watching them use their meters and sensing tools and even more interesting observing the results. During my first visit a humorous thing happened to me. Sitting in the parlor, listening to Lisa with PSL speak, I became distracted by the sound of another voice. I could hear a woman speaking quietly, behind me, even though I sat in a corner against the wall. I even peered outside, through the window, but didn’t see anyone. So I mentally asked, “Who are you?” Immediately, the song Elvira began playing in my head. Just as I thought “that’s weird”, I tuned in to Lisa talking about one of the Kendricks…Joshua’s wife ELVIRA. Her ghost often makes itself known…in the parlor where we sat.

Phelps House

I first attended an event in the Phelps House with my mother in the early 2000s. A photographer captured our photo and then we explored the house with a large group and enjoyed a sumptuous dinner. I told my mother that I felt like spirits were following me around throughout the house. As we prepared to leave, we stopped by the photographer’s table to collect our photos. He apologized, explaining he didn’t know what happened. Distortions appeared in our photo and apparently, no other photographs except ours were affected. I’ve included that photograph at the end of this post. I’ll let you decide what’s going on!

Civil War Battlefield

And Wednesday, as I traveled around Carthage snapping photos for this post, I stopped by one of the battlefields, for the first time. Truthfully, much of the city classifies as a battlefield. This one, marked with a stone, is now a park with playgrounds and a soccer field. I felt strangely disappointed at how modern it all looked. Then I drove through the park. My scalp began to tingle, which is a signal to me that spirit energy is present. When I parked my car and walked over to read the engraved stone, my chest felt heavy and ached, an even stronger sign that negative energy is present. Finally, as I returned to my car, I could “hear”, in my mind, the sounds of battle and the cries of wounded men.

Do you believe in ghosts? As my tour guide John said, in Charleston, I’m not here to try and convince you. I’m sharing stories, mixed with history, and letting YOU decide. Next week, we are off to Rome, Italy.

Ghost Stories from Carthage spirits
What do you see in this photo from the Phelps House?

October Ghost Stories Series 2021

Ghost Stories from Charleston

Ghost Stories from Glasgow

Check out this book from Lisa, with Paranormal Science Lab:

 

 

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Write Like You Mean It

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Thank you to Brown Books Publishing for sending me a copy of Write Like You Mean It for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

If author Steve Gamel and I met, I feel like we’d instantly become friends. What would we talk about? Our conversation, peppered with laughter, would highlight the stories of our writing paths and the creative passion that fuels our journeys.

Instead of a chat over a cup of hot tea or coffee, however, what I have is a conversational style book that allows me a peek into Steve’s long and successful career as a writer. Filled with stories, lessons, strategies and tools, Write Like You Mean It is the perfect handbook for the beginner or the experienced writer.

Write Like You Mean It title meme

Meet Steve Gamel

Steve entered college intent on receiving a degree in broadcast journalism. After a professor criticized an article he wrote, with the scathing words, “Have you ever read a newspaper before?”, Steve dedicated himself to mastering the craft of writing.

In the years after college, Steve regularly wrote for such publications as the Dallas Morning News, Allen Publishing, Murray Media Group and his local paper, the Denton Record-Chronicle. Steve continually honed his skills by reading EVERYTHING and writing outside of the sports news genre. If there was a story to tell, any kind of story, he told it. Along the way he collected national, state and local writing awards.

In 2014 Steve founded a writing and editing service called Edit This. With his debut book, Steve desires to connect with other writers and share what he’s learned. The conversations in the book revolve around writing, writers and how we can all master our passion for the written word.

“Write Like You Mean It means putting all your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into your passion for writing. Our words are our stock in trade. We are craftsmen. We are artists. Furthermore, our audience deserves to see and feel each word we put on a page. I want writers to realize that whatever they’ve written deserves to see the light of day rather than being tucked away on a dusty bedroom shelf somewhere. They need to believe in themselves, and they need to believe in their writing. I think the tools, tips, life hacks, resources, and
examples in this book will help writers from all walks of life write like they mean it.” Steve Gamel

Write Like You Mean It steve
Write Like You Mean It author Steve Gamel

Mastering Your Passion for the Written Word

The book offers a wealth of information, tips and actionable steps, gathered from Steve’s years of experience as a writer. It’s broken into three sections.

Start Writing

This opening section begins at the beginning! With chapters on overcoming fear, developing a writer’s checklist, active voice, tools for the trade and writer’s block, Steve helps us get out of our own way by moving beyond the fear and into the mechanics.

Steve supplies examples of work, illustrating his points, and tips for improving skills. These are helpful for all writers.

Writing to a Purpose

The middle section moves deeper into the world of writing and includes chapters on active listening, research and organization, nonfiction, fiction, storytelling for all styles of writing and freelancing.

I learned early in my journey that purpose connects strongly to my writing. Without purpose, I flounder. This section in the book fired up my heart and challenged me to continue to develop my craft.

Write Like You Mean It to Be Read

The final section of the book includes the important editing process, how to market what you’ve poured your heart and soul into and the different ways of publishing work.

Steve concludes with the perfect list of takeaways from his book:

  • move beyond fears
  • master the active voice and basic mechanics of writing
  • recognize that writer’s block is a teacher
  • stay organized and keep your audience in mind
  • tell stories
  • stay open to feedback and develop a writing community
  • read, read, read
  • write each sentence better than yesterday
  • market yourself and your work
  • celebrate every opportunity for publishing work
Write Like You Mean It computer
Write Like You Mean It – my writing tools. I always have a stack of notebooks nearby.

My Thoughts on Write Like You Mean It

I deeply appreciate this book. Reading it reminded me of my own writing journey.

I knew by the age of eight that I wanted to write. My mom bought me a little typewriter and off I went, crafting stories. My path meandered through toying with a novel, writing children’s stories, creating homeschool curriculum to use with my kids and finally, blogging.

At the end of 2013, I connected a strong purpose to my desire to write…and created my blog, Going Beyond. See my first, makes-me-cringe-now post HERE.

During the last nine years I worked on finding my voice and narrowing my niche. I invested in myself and learned about SEO, finding my audience, improving my writing and marketing through social media. And I moved the blog to a site I can monetize and changed the name slightly. While I still have a toe in real estate…my heart and soul light up when I write. The passion to write burns within me and I not only welcome it, I fan it.

Write Like You Mean It empowers me to become the best writer possible and to focus, really focus, on the nonfiction book I’m “writing on the side”.

Write Like You Mean It cindy
Write Like You Mean It – queen of my writing kingdom

Who Can Benefit from Write Like You Mean It?

Whatever your genre…fiction, poetry, a blog, magazine articles or nonfiction…this book is for you. Aspiring writers, struggling writers and professional writers all benefit from Steve’s expert knowledge, tips and practices.

Plus, he delivers the keys to success in a friendly, down-to-earth style that resonates with the writer within and encourages a higher level of skill.

When you finish the book, you too might feel like you’ve just enjoyed a lively and enlightening conversation with a friend, a writer friend, who wants the very best for you.

How does that sound to you?

Pick up your copy of Write Like You Mean It by clicking this Amazon LINK. Grab a cup of coffee or a hot tea, open the book, and join the conversation.

 

Write Like You Mean It flatlay

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Ghost Stories from Glasgow

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

It’s the second Friday in October and time for the next post in the ghost story series. Last week the spooky tales hailed from Charleston.

This week we cross the sea to the ancient city of Glasgow, in Scotland. Founded in the 6th century, on the River Clyde, the burgh grew to become Scotland’s capital city.  Today it features amazing architecture, a bustling art community and a thriving night life. Young adults hitting the pubs aren’t the only ones active at night. Check out these ghost stories from Glasgow for a peek into the city’s dark side.

Ghost Stories from Glasgow title meme

World’s Friendliest City

Voted the World’s Friendliest City, Glasgow is indeed a fun, inviting city. I’ve visited twice. While there I love listening to the locals and chatting with them about their city.

Due to its age and long history, the city doesn’t lack ghostly locations with things that go bump in the night.

The Necropolis

Called the “city of the dead”, the Necropolis is a sprawling Victorian cemetery located behind Glasgow Cathedral. It is the final resting place for more than 50,000 people. Wandering among the creepy statues, gothic tombs and elaborate mausoleums, it’s not difficult to imagine all manner of ghosts hiding here.

The Woman in White floats among the tombstones in the wee hours of the night, just before darkness gives way to morning light. People claim to see her and hear her murmurs as she passes by.

In addition to a low lying mist that often appears at night, visitors also report disembodied whispers coming from graves and mausoleums. Professional ghost hunters caught the apparition of a child next to a grave when they live streamed their visit to the Necropolis online. And some claim to witness statues in the cemetery changing their facial expressions. Don’t blink! (Doctor Who reference)

Ghost Stories from Glasgow necropolis
Ghost Stories from Glasgow – the Necropolis

Cathedral House Hotel

Across from the Necropolis sits the Cathedral House Hotel. Built in 1887 as a hostel for inmates, it housed prisoners released from nearby Duke Street Penitentiary, where some of Scotland’s worst criminals were incarcerated.

Today the building is a boutique hotel and considered one of the most haunted places in Glasgow.

Duke Street Penitentiary executed many of its inmates. It’s believed that some of those restless spirits haunt Cathedral House Hotel, including the last women hanged at the prison in 1923, Susan Newell.

Visitors report a presence on the stairs that brushes up against them and a mischievous boy who disappears into the wall in the pub downstairs. Others hear ghost children running and playing in the attic. One story suggests that a woman released from prison was reunited with her two children. Distraught and fearful, the woman supposedly drowned her children in one of the hostel’s bathtubs. It may be her children who haunt the top floor.

Furniture and other items in the hotel appear to move on their own.

Ghost Stories from Glasgow cathedral house hotel
Ghost Stories from Glasgow – Cathedral house Hotel

Glasgow Royal Infirmary

This hospital has continuously cared for the sick and dying in Glasgow for 227 years. Most hospitals contain spirits. The Royal Infirmary is no exception. Even the doctors and nurses can’t explain away the supernatural occurrences there.

The most documented stories from the infirmary include the following:

The Floating Sister at first appears as a staff member making her rounds…until one realizes she’s only visible from the knees up. It’s thought the ghost is walking along on an older floor that has since been removed.

Archie the Whisperer haunts ward 27 at the infirmary. He appears at the bedside of dying patients, an elderly man wearing a hair bun.

The Grey Lady walks silently down hallways and disappears through doors.

And a very recent story tells of a doctor responding to a call to help a man who suffered a heart attack. As the doctor approached the patient’s room, a man asked him for directions on how to exit the hospital. The doctor pointed him in the right direction and continued to the patient’s room. There he discovered the patient already dead…and that he was the same man the doctor had just given directions to.

Ghost Stories from Glasgow infirmary
Ghost Stories from Glasgow – Royal Infirmary

Provan Hall

Provan Hall, in Glasgow’s east end, is one of the city’s most paranormally active locations. Built in the 15th century as a hunting lodge for the bishops of Glasgow, the hall hosted historical guests including Mary Queen of Scots and King James V. It houses some well documented ghosts as well.

The Man with the Dagger haunts the main bedroom in the hall. In the 19th century this man returned home after two years at war to find his wife had given birth to a child. In a rage, he killed both and continues to angrily stalk the room.

Reston Mather is the last private owner of the house. He most commonly lurks on the staircase, sporting a white beard and wearing a black bowler hat and dark clothes. He died of breathing difficulties and paranormal investigators report feeling breathless on the stairs.

The upper floor of Provan Hall is haunted by the ghosts of a woman and a young boy who died there. People report seeing them peering from the upstairs windows as they walk by.

Ghost Stories from Glasgow provan hall
Ghost Stories from Glasgow – Provan Hall

Theatre Royal

Theatre Royal on Hope Street is the oldest theatre in Glasgow. It originally opened as the Royal Colosseum and Opera House in 1867 and shortly after, renamed itself the Theatre Royal Glasgow. Although burned in the fire of 1875, the building was restored.

Nora, a cleaning woman and would be actress, is the theatre’s most famous ghost. After begging for an audition from the theatre manager, Nora failed to realize her dream. In fact, they laughed her off the stage. She jumped to her death from an upper balcony in the theatre . People report hearing moaning, crying and doors banging shut from the upper circle and sensing a presence up there. Objects move about. A lone workman suffered a hit to the head from a hammer while working in the roof area in 2006.

Another oft sighted ghost is that of a fireman who died in an electrical fire at the theatre in 1969. He appears wearing his dated uniform, staring at musicians in the orchestra pit. The fireman ghost stirs up activity in the basement also, tormenting workers there and moving tools.

Ghost Stories from Glasgow theatre
Ghost Stories from Glasgow – Theatre Royal

The October Ghost Series

Although I’ve visited Glasgow twice, spending several nights there the first time and one night the second, I do not have any paranormal experiences of my own to share. I do sense interesting, watchful energy in the Necropolis. You won’t find me wandering there in the dark of night! Perhaps on my next visit, I’ll spend a night at the Cathedral House Hotel.

Have you visited Glasgow, Scotland? Did you experience any hauntings?

Check back each Friday in October, for a new set of ghost stories from different cities.

Necropolis grave
Not a sight you want to see in the Necropolis!

Glasgow Finds from Amazon:

 

 


 

 

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Creating a Strong Sense of Self

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

A sense of self means that you know, without a doubt, who you are and what is meaningful in life for you. It’s the answer to the question that most of us have, “Who am I?”

Creating a strong sense of self is important for several reasons. Knowing who you are and what’s important to you allows you to set specific goals, dream your own dreams, set boundaries with others and become aware of your own strengths and unique qualities. A strong sense of self helps with decision making, protects well being and even reduces stress.

Holistic  psychotherapist, Sonia Fregoso, says, “Having a sense of self is vital to mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. It becomes our inner compass for every interaction with others. Your sense of self tells you what boundaries you need to place with others and how to make decisions that will serve you. It also enables you to reflect on the things that don’t serve you and evolves to help you survive, adapt and ultimately thrive.”

That’s how important creating a strong sense of self is. Following are eight ways to develop your own sense of self.

Creating a Strong Sense of Self title meme

Know Yourself

The place to start, in creating a strong sense of self, is to KNOW yourself. You must know your convictions, beliefs, values, dreams, ambitions, passions and truths. You must learn what is most important to you in life.

Grab a notebook or journal and ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do I enjoy doing?
  2. And what do I dislike doing?
  3. In others, what behaviors and actions send alarm signals to me?
  4. And what behaviors and actions melt my heart?
  5. In life, what is most important to me?
  6. What makes me feel stuck? Small? Invisible?
  7. And what makes me feel expansive? Living big? Compassionate?
  8. What goals and dreams do I have?
  9. What do I stand strongly for?
  10. If I could do ANYTHING, without money being a concern, what would I do?

Take your time answering the questions. Sit with them for a time. Allow the answers to rise to the surface of your consciousness.

If nothing comes to mind, back up to self acceptance and self gratitude, which are the beginning of self love and vital to sense of self. Learning who we are is a process. Often we have to undo training that attempts to mold us into who we are not. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Lose the fear of fitting in.

And, as you grow, who you are deepens. You discover more truths about yourself, uncover dreams and passions you didn’t know you had. I keep a little mascot, Absolem the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, on my writing table with his famous words nearby: “Who are you?”. His presence reminds me to ask that question often.

Creating a Strong Sense of Self who are you
Creating a Strong Sense of Self – who are you?

Make Decisions That Are Best for You

Do you make decisions that are in alignment with who you are? Or do you make decisions to please other people, avoid conflicts or to live up to the expectations of others?

A strong sense of self allows you to weigh decisions against what you know to be true, in your heart and soul. You develop that sense of deep knowing that guides you. A decision that goes against who you are pulls you out of alignment with yourself. You’ll feel that as an “out of sorts” feeling. You feel out of sorts because you are pulled out of who you are.

A good question to ask when considering decisions is this one: “What would I decide, if I was alone?”

Should we ever make decisions that compromise who we are? No, however we make decisions that meet others where they are, with who we are. Part of creating a strong sense of self means we stand our ground, on things that are important to us and allow others to do the same. We can still be in relationships with others. And we can make decisions that benefit others, as long as we do not give up pieces of who we are, to keep imagined peace.

Do What Nourishes Your Soul

Creating a strong sense of self allows us to explore the things we enjoy doing, on a deep level. And we find ways to do those things, even if we do them alone. Nourishing the soul is vital and carving out the time to do those things, just as vital.

What activities make you feel joyful, satisfied and energized? Do more of those things.

I enjoy watching movies. They speak to me on a level that goes beyond entertainment. As a young adult, I wanted people to go with me to the movie theater and to see films as I saw them. I’d feel disappointed that others didn’t see the deeper truths in the films or shrugged off the movie as a waste of time. I learned to go to the movie theater alone, if no one else wanted to go. And now I mostly go alone and enjoy the experience very much. Movie watching nourishes my soul as does gardening, creating beautiful spaces in my home, traveling and writing.

What nourishes yours?

Creating a Strong Sense of Self fall
Creating a Strong Sense of Self – do what you love, to nourish your soul

Express Yourself and Set Firm Boundaries

Learning to express yourself, in a calm and meaningful way, flows from your sense of self. And to express yourself, you have to know what you believe in, what you stand for and what stirs your compassion or fires up your perception of right and wrong. Having a strong sense of self allows you to express your beliefs without forcing others to agree with you.

It also allows you to set healthy boundaries with others, who are not allowed to force YOU to agree with them. Without a strong sense of self, it is easy to fall into people pleasing and overaccommodation and just as easy to lose yourself. Setting boundaries limits anything and anyone wanting to consume your time and energy.

Without the sense of self to anchor you, you may feel anxious, lost, depressed, hopeless or worthless when confronted with the beliefs of others who may argue them strongly. Feeling those emotions alerts you that your boundaries have been crossed. Setting firm boundaries lets you to distinguish your feelings and beliefs from someone else’s feelings and beliefs and limit their impact.

A few suggestions:

  • set boundaries early in a relationship, so each person knows where the other stands in beliefs
  • be consistent about your boundaries otherwise it encourages others to trample them
  • communicate honestly and openly, especially if someone routinely oversteps your boundaries

Keep Growing as a Person

This is an ongoing journey, discovering sense of self. Keep learning about yourself. Spend time alone. It’s the only way you will deepen your awareness of who you are and who you are becoming.

Try new experiences, to see what you like or dislike. Develop ideas. Dream dreams and then set goals, even baby step goals, to realize those hopes. Take classes on subjects you want to learn more about. Read widely.

And travel, whether you explore your own community, do road trips across your home country or experience a totally different culture across the sea. Go alone or with others. Travel moves you beyond your comfort zone, which brings new opportunities, and expands your perspectives.

Creating a Strong Sense of Self travel
Creating a Strong Sense of Self – travel to keep growing

Adapt to Change

Adapting to change requires a mindset shift. Although many don’t like this fact, change is inevitable.

I adopted an “open to everything, attached to nothing” mindset about 15 years ago and it shifted my ability to flow with change. When something happens that I’m not expecting, I am able see it as what’s supposed to be. How do I know? Because it happened. Detaching from outcomes prevents bitterness and disappointment and actually builds trust.

Refusal to accept change creates rigidity and ultimately leads to feeling frustrated, stuck or stagnant. Embracing change, when it happens, creates opportunities to grow, adapt and learn flexibility and creativity.

Tune in to Your Emotions

This has been a biggie for me. I spent many years of my life refusing to feel what I considered negative emotions such as anger and sadness. That caused a  fracture in my soul and I divided myself into what I considered a “normal” self and a hidden “weird” self…or a light and dark side.

To be absolutely who we are, we need all of ourselves present…the normal and the weird, the light and the dark, the positive emotions and the negative emotions. I’m a stronger person, embracing my whole self. Plus my self acceptance and self love grew from uniting all my separate parts into a whole being.

To tune in to your emotions, spend time in solitude, meditate, pray, journal your feelings…all of them…practice positive self talk and write out affirmations that begin with “I am…”.

Create a Personal Manifesto

A manifesto is a statement of intentions and ideals. Think of it as a mission statement or a declaration of beliefs, desires and values.

A personal manifesto helps us to evaluate where we are in life, and provides clarity on where we want to go. It can provoke change, encourage shifts and inspire forward momentum.

Each person’s manifesto is uniquely his or her own, reflecting journeys, beliefs, desires and wisdom. And it is an ideal way to clarify your sense of self.

Manifestos can and will change as you grow. I’ve created two…in the last two years. You can read my latest manifesto HERE and gain insight on how to create your own.

Place your manifesto in an easy to access place, so you can read it often.

Creating a Strong Sense of Self be me
Being me

Do You Have a Strong Sense of Self?

Who are you? Do you have a strong sense of self that keeps you centered, protected and free from the expectations of others?

The best part, perhaps, of creating a strong sense of self is that it allows others the freedom to do the same. When I’m strong and secure in who I am, I can appreciate others strengths more, even if we don’t agree on all of our beliefs. And if I am pulled off center, I can easily right myself and return to center again. Sense of self keeps me from placing expectations on others and gives me the incredible freedom to pursue my interests and passions while those I care about pursue theirs.

I’m still learning new things about myself and growing, on this journey called life.

Where are you on your journey? May this post help serve as a compass for you, as you explore your inner self.

Compass

 

Roadmaps for the journey, from Amazon:

Women Who Run with the Wolves

Untamed

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historic Sites to See in Charleston

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One of the reasons I wanted to visit Charleston, South Carolina was because of the city’s historical buildings and sites. Truthfully, most of Charleston has historic value. The whole downtown area and south, to the tip of the peninsula, is called the Historic District.

For an overview of fun things to do in Charleston, check out this post. While you are exploring the area, watch for these historic sites to see in Charleston as well.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston title meme

A Brief History of Charleston

Founded as Charles Town in 1670, in honor of King Charles II, this colonial town welcomed its first settlers from Bermuda and Barbados. The original settlement, located on the Ashley River, lay a few miles northwest of the present day city.

A second thriving settlement, located at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers replaced the original Charles Town in 1680. By 1690, it was the fifth largest city in North America.

In the early 1700s, Charles Town became Charlestown. And in 1774, South Carolina declared its independence from Great Britain on the steps of the Exchange in Charlestown. The British attacked the settlement three times, laying siege in 1780 and forcing a surrender. They evacuated the city in 1782. The next year the city officially changed its name to Charleston.

Between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, Charleston experienced growth and an economic boon, due to cotton, indigo and rice crops. These cash crops were tended to by enslaved people from Africa first, then enslaved African Americans after the importation of enslaved peoples was banned in 1808.

Civil War and Charleston

The first battle of the Civil War occurred on April 12, 1861, when Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor was fired upon. After a day and a half of bombardment, the fort was surrendered. The Union control of the sea allowed repeated bombardment of Charleston, causing much damage.

Sherman’s army moved through the area, causing the evacuation of Charleston in February 1865 and the burning of public buildings and cotton warehouses.

After the end of the Civil War, federal forces remained in Charleston during the Reconstruction. By the late 1870s industries renewed the city, with new jobs attracting new residents.

Charleston struggled economically for decades before tourism began to draw visitors and an influx of money in the 1920s. Today the city is considered one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston

There are many interesting places to visit in Charleston. Walk down any street in the Historic District and there are signs and plaques detailing the historical events that took place there.

Although you can experience historical Charleston on your own, I highly recommend a historic walking tour as well. My favorite is the Two Sisters Tour. On my tour one of the sisters, Therese, shared fascinating stories about many of the sites listed below. I encourage you to experience a tour with a knowledgeable guide, to learn more about Charleston’s long history.

Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Located at 122 East Bay Street, this landmark was completed in 1771 and played an important role in South Carolina’s history.

During the Revolution, British forces converted the lower floor of the Exchange into a dungeon for American prisoners of war.

The Exchanged hosted South Carolina leaders as they debated and then approved the US Constitution. The building is one of four remaining structures where the founding document was originally ratified.

In 1791, city leaders entertained President George Washington on the upper floors, with dinners, dances and concerts.

There are darker deeds that happened in this building as well. Watch for more about the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in October, in Ghost Stories from Charleston.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston old exchange
Historic Site to See in Charleston – Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

St. Michael’s Church

Completed in 1761, St. Michael’s Church is the oldest church in Charleston still standing. It’s located at the corner of Meeting and Broad Streets.

When he visited Charleston in 1791, George Washington attended church here, sitting in pew box number 43.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston st michaels church
Historic Sites to See in Charleston – St Michael’s Church interior

78 Church Street and Heyward – Washington House

George Washington stayed in Charleston for eight days, occupying a Georgian style double house at 87 Church Street, built in 1772. Thomas Heyward, Jr. was one of four South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The city rented this property for President Washington’s use during his stay. It opened in 1930 as Charleston’s first historic house museum under the name Heyward – Washington House.

Just down the street, at 78 Church Street is another house associated with Washington. The President stood on the second floor balcony to deliver a speech to the citizens of Charleston.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston 78 church street
Historic Sites to See in Charleston – 78 Church Street

The House that Belonged to Aaron Burr’s Daughter

Theodosia Burr, daughter of Aaron Burr, married South Carolina governor Joseph Alston. They lived at the house at 94 Church Street, along with their son.

You remember Aaron Burr, vice president and the person who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. If you are a fan of the musical Hamilton, there is a song called “Dear Theodosia” that expresses Burr’s love for his daughter.

Theodosia’s story ends mysteriously. She and her ten year old son both contracted malaria. The boy died and Theodosia grieved deeply for him. She set sail on a ship in early 1813, bound for New York to visit her father. The ship sank. Theodosia’s body did not wash ashore. She was never found, fueling all kinds of speculations about what happened to her.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston theodosia house
Historic Sites to See in Charleston – Theodosia Burr’s house

Sweetgrass Baskets

Gullah is a word used to describe the language and culture of those in this area who descended from West Africans. The Gullah culture is deeply intertwined with Charleston, from Lowcountry foods to the crafting of sweetgrass baskets.

You can watch the creation of these beautiful baskets at the Historic Charleston City Market. Or find Gullah women crafting baskets on Meeting Street. They continue a West African tradition handed down to them through generations.

The baskets originally processed rice, a common crop in both West Africa and South Carolina. They are made by bundling dried sweetgrass and coiling it into unique circular designs.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston sweetgrass baskets
Historic Sites to See in Charleston – sweetgrass baskets

Earthquake Bolts

As you wander the streets of Charleston, you might notice metal plates in a variety of shapes on houses and buildings. These are earthquake bolts.

These iron reinforcement rods were inserted through the walls of buildings and secured at the outside ends with large washers and nuts after the great Charleston earthquake of 1886.

Scientists estimate a magnitude of 6.9 – 7.3. It caused 60 deaths and did $5 to $6 million in damages. That cost today equals $158 million.

Owners who didn’t like seeing the unadorned ends on their house exteriors covered them with cast iron decorations in the shapes of stars, crosses, circles, lion heads, butterflies, diamonds and letters of the alphabet. These reinforcement rods protect against hurricane gales as well.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston earthquake bolts
Historic Sites to See in Charleston – earthquake bolts on houses

Catfish Row

At 89 – 91 Church Street stretches a three story building with a swinging sign attached. The sign reads “Catfish Row”.

A hundred years ago, this building housed former slaves who made a living selling cabbages and other vegetables from the windows. Back then that narrow lane through the archway bore the name Cabbage Row, as a nod to the produce sold there.

Author Edwin DuBose Heyward lived down the street. Cabbage Row inspired his novel Porgy. The main character, Porgy, was based on the real life Sammy Smalls, known in Charleston for his tangles with the law and for riding through town in a goat drawn cart. In his book, Heyward changed the name of Cabbage Row to Catfish Row. His book led to a play and later an opera called Porgy and Bess.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston catfish row
Historic Sites to See in Charleston – Catfish Row

Dock Street Theatre

The original Dock Street Theatre, located at 135 Church Street, opened in 1736 with a performance of The Recruiting Officer. It was the first building in the 13 colonies designed for use as a theatre. The first opera performed in American, Flora, took place at this theatre.

Unfortunately, the original theatre burned in the Great Fire of 1740. In 1809 the current building went up, as the Planter’s Hotel. That building fell into disrepair after the Civil War. The City of Charleston acquired the building in 1935 and constructed the current theatre within the shell of the hotel. The grand reopening of the Dock Street Theatre took place in 1937.

Renovations from 2007 to 2010 brought the building into modern times with updated heating and air conditioning, state of the art lighting and sound systems and new restrooms. The theatre typically offers more than 120 performances a year.

Historic Sites to See in Charleston dock street theatre
Historic Sites to See in Charleston – Dock Street Theatre

Circular Congregation Church

There’s a reason for Charleston’s nickname…the Holy City. It offers diversity in spiritual practices with many different kinds of churches. The tall steeples from those churches are visible across the city.

The Circular Congregational Church is one of the oldest continuously worshipping congregations in the South. Charles Town’s original settlers founded this church about 1681. The surrounding graveyard contains about 500 graves with monuments dating back to 1695.

The first Meeting House on this site gave Meeting Street its name. This third church structure occupies the same spot as the previous two. Bricks from the second circular church, which burned in 1861, formed this current sanctuary, completed in 1892.

So Much History to Offer

Charleston offers so many old stories. It’s impossible to walk very far without encountering a historic marker.

The city has endured wars, economic ups and downs, malaria outbreaks, fires and earthquakes. Those calamities along with strong ties to the trade of enslaved peoples brought painful times of reconstruction and growth, on many levels. Charleston does not gloss over its history or ignore it or glorify it either. Rather, the people here seek to learn from their past and tell their stories accurately and in depth.

I have more stories to tell from Charleston too.

Have you visited this city? What historic places did you see?

Historic Sites to See in Charleston circular church
Historic Sites to See in Charleston – Circular Congregational Church

Historic Charleston

 


 

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The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Thank you to The Adventure Challenge, for sending me The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I love adventures, trying new experiences, randomness and solo travel. So when I came across this company, The Adventure Challenge, the name alone caught my keen interest.

The more I investigated the company, the more I loved their concepts.

Want to freshen up the fun…as a couple, a family, a friend or on your own? I do! Check out my experience with The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition. And find out how you can bring the challenges into your life.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition title meme

What is The Adventure Challenge?

The Adventure Challenges are scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges are designed to…well…challenge you! They encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. The challenges are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

Plus, the challenges are fun. The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

The best part, for me, is the catch. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the challenge is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play, where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar, and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up or in The Adventure Challenge.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition cindy
Excited to try my first challenge in The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition.

What’s Inside the Book?

You can purchase an Adventure Challenge book only or a kit that comes with the book and an instamatic camera. Each page in the book includes a scratch off adventure, with a few clues about the challenge, a space to write about your experience and a place to attach a small photo.

There are four rules to using the challenge book:

  1. Disconnect to reconnect – unplug from everyday life, connect with others or self and have fun.
  2. No take backs – you must do the adventure you scratch off. If the adventure makes you uncomfortable a bit, that’s good! Discover new things about yourself and others.
  3. Document the journey – take a photo of each challenge and write about it in the book.
  4. Show it off – upload photos of your adventure on social media and tag #theadventurechallenge.

Each scratch off challenge has icons posted with it, clues about the adventure to come. Some examples:

  • $ is approximate cost of the adventure
  • clock symbol represents best time of day to do adventure
  • hourglass equals approximate duration of adventure
  • silverware means you will eat a meal
  • shopping cart is a heads up you’ll need some supplies
  • house means you’ll complete this adventure at home
  • car means you’ll go somewhere for this challenge
  • sun is for daylight hours
  • moon represents nighttime fun

Adventures don’t have to be done in order. They are divided by categories. You can choose any adventure you want or randomly select one.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition page
Page from The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

Scratching Off My First Adventure

I asked for The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition. Why? Because I immensely enjoy this type of random experience that pushes me out of my comfort zone or teaches me something new. There’s another reason as well, that I share at the end of this post.

For my first adventure, I HAD to choose one on the “It’s an opportunity to learn something new” page. I selected number 19, Party Trick or Treat. Icons indicated no cost, could be done anytime and approximate time to complete, one hour. Two other symbols showed me it was a chill exercise and could be done at home.

I scratched off the adventure with one of the gold plastic discs provided and read my challenge: Research top ten party tricks, find one that speaks to you and learn it. Share with a friend via Facetime.

Yes! First, I rarely go to parties. And if I do, I NEVER do a party trick. New experience coming up!

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition party trick
Can you guess which party trick I chose?

Move a Straw Without Touching It Party Trick

After researching top ten party tricks, I narrowed my choices down to three. I initially ruled out the straw one, because I don’t use plastic straws. However, in a funny little twist of fate, I ended up with a single straw that day. Decision made.

The trick: Balance a straw on top of a bottle and ask a friend if they can make the straw move, without touching it or knocking it off the bottle. When they can’t, show them that you can.

Pick up straw and rub it on your clothes or on your hair. Return to bottle top and bring hands close to the straw without touching it. The build up of static electricity causes the straw to spin on the bottle top.

I practiced this party trick a few times and discovered that my long silver hair created the right amount of static electricity. I set up my iPhone and created a short video of me performing the trick…and sent it to my grandkids. They want to try the trick as well.

I documented my fun adventure with an instamatic photo, from an Instax Mini camera I borrowed from my granddaughter, wrote briefly about my challenge and included the date. Want to see my trick? Catch the Instagram Reel HERE.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition
My documented challenge.

How I Will Use The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

I enjoyed my first challenge! It pushed me beyond my comfort zone, which is always a desired experience for me. And it was fun to document.

Here’s the most exciting part of all this for me. My word for next year is…adventure. How perfect this solo edition is, for 2022. With 49 remaining challenges, I intend to experience one each week next year, and perhaps make up a few of my own to create 52 adventures. There’s actually a blank page at the end of my solo edition book that I can use for these extra adventures.

The well made, attractive book is destined to become my memory book for 2022. This is something new, right there. I can’t wait to begin, the first week in January. You know I’ll write about some of those adventures.

You don’t have to wait though! The Adventure Challenge books make wonderfully unique gifts for weddings, anniversaries, your spouse, your family, your grown kids and their families. And…there’s a new Blind Dates edition for some crazy fun if you are dating.

Or perhaps you know someone like me…or you are someone like me…who enjoys the thrill of challenging herself to go beyond, go past comfort zones, fears and limiting beliefs. Someone who likes to have fun while learning more about herself. This is THE ultimate gift for her…or you.

Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition first challenge
I learned a party trick!

Adventures…Yes Please

In the introduction at the beginning of the book, founder Bryant S. Ellis reminds us that we can become entrenched in repetition and get used to doing the same old things. He believes that random creativity shocks us out of our normal day-to-day life. It gets us exploring again…ourselves and the world around us.

I agree. And I actively and intentionally choose adventures and going beyond on a daily basis. I’m grateful for this new to me company and their Adventure Challenges. They will be foundational to my growth and my fun next year.

How about you? Are you ready to challenge yourself and enliven your days with adventures? Grab a challenge book and get to scratching. Don’t forget your code for 10% off…GOING BEYOND.

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Meeting Street Inn

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

As I planned my trip to Charleston, an important consideration was accommodations. I knew I wanted to stay in the historic district downtown, since I was exploring on foot. A base of operations is what I needed, a centrally located place that made it easy for me to walk to where I wanted to go.

That was my must have. Bonuses for me included a free breakfast, a charming room, a refrigerator in the room and as an extra, extra bonus, a pretty outdoor space. Could I find all that, without spending a fortune?

Indeed I could. I found it all at the Meeting Street Inn.

Meeting Street Inn title meme

History of Meeting Street Inn

Although there are some hotels specially built for that purpose in Charleston, many of the city’s accommodations began life many years ago as something else. This is true for Meeting Street Inn.

The Charleston Theatre, built in 1837, originally occupied four lots at 173 Meeting Street. Unfortunately, the theatre burned to the ground in 1861. German immigrant Adolph Tiefenthal purchased the lots where the theatre once stood. In 1874 he constructed a three story brick building in the traditional Charleston single house style, characterized by the single room width with the house set at right angles to the street.

On the ground floor, Adolph opened a restaurant and saloon, selling German beers and Rhine wines. He and his wife and their three daughters occupied the top two floors. Adolph died four years later and descendants sold the building in 1903.

Over the years various businesses came and went on the first floor including an antique boutique, liquor store, auto parts shop, bicycle rentals and a dental equipment supplier. After Hurricane Hugo struck in 1989, the building fell into disrepair. Francis F. Limehouse bought the building and renovated it, creating the lovely Meeting Street Inn. Her work on the inn sparked the restoration movement that transformed the Charleston Historic District.

Meeting Street Inn lobby
The beautiful Meeting Street Inn lobby.

Meeting Street Inn Amenities

The inn features 56 charming, spacious rooms, six of them in the historic building, each with private baths. The rooms open onto piazzas that overlook the garden courtyard or open directly onto that outdoor space.

Amenities include:

  • oversized jacuzzi in courtyard
  • complimentary continental breakfast
  • complimentary evening wine and nibbles
  • valet parking and self parking off site
  • 24 hour front desk assistance
  • recommendations and help with travel planning
  • four poster beds
  • turn down service
  • hair dryer
  • complimentary shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotion
  • ironing board and iron
  • safe for valuables
  • refrigerator in room
  • high speed internet
  • charging station in room to plug phones into
  • elevators at either end of the piazzas
  • ice machine and snack vending machines in covered outdoor room in courtyard
  • complimentary coffee, tea, hot water and ice and water dispenser in lobby

Guests may enter the property through the lobby, where the front desk is located. Or, after checking in, you may enter through the privacy door which opens into the courtyard.

Rooms

Traditions rooms include standard room with one queen size bed, standard room with two full size canopied beds and standard room with two full size canopied beds that open directly onto the courtyard.

Deluxe rooms include one queen size canopied bed with walk in closet and double French doors that open to private café style balcony or two full size canopied beds with walk in closet and double French doors that open to private café style balcony.

The larger historic rooms, in the oldest part of the building, include king size canopied beds, walk in closets, high ceilings and a shared, outdoor veranda.

Meeting Street Inn piazza view
The view from my fourth floor piazza.

My Experience at Meeting Street Inn

All the history and amenities are impressive, however, what you are really wondering is…how was my stay at Meeting Street Inn?

It was wonderful! What began as my “base of operations” quickly became my cozy home away from home. Here’s the breakdown of what works so well, staying at Meeting Street Inn.

Location

Situated in the heart of the historic district, Meeting Street Inn, at 173 Meeting Street, is close to everything. The City Market is across the street as is one of the stops for the free DASH bus. I could easily catch the bus if I wanted to ride around the city instead of walk.

One block over is King Street, the avenue for shopping, dining, art, antiques and nightlife. A short walk in the other direction brings you to Waterfront Park, Charleston Harbor, the Battery and East Bay Street with the famous Rainbow Row of colorful houses.

And Broad Street is a few blocks south, which means the South of Broad neighborhoods full of beautiful, historic houses begin right there. Everything I wanted to see, with the exception of Magnolia Plantation, was all within walking distance from Meeting Street Inn. I’d head out in the mornings to explore. Eat lunch. Go back to the room for a cup of tea and then head back out late afternoon for more exploring and supper.

Extra Bonus Points

The only concern I had, the whole time I was in Charleston, was where a nighttime walking ghost tour I experienced was going to end. It began in Waterfront Park, half a mile away. I knew it would be dark when the tour ended and I wasn’t sure how far I’d need to walk, alone, to get back to the inn. Happily, the tour ended TWO blocks from Meeting Street Inn. I smiled all the way back to my room.

Jacuzzi pool
The oversized jacuzzi in the courtyard.

My Room

I stayed in a traditional room with a queen size four poster bed, on the fourth floor. My room was exceptionally clean, comfortable, charming and cozy.

The bathroom was large, and super clean, with a tub/shower combo and complimentary toiletries. The wide counter was perfect for setting up my own packed toiletries from home.

There was a small balcony off of the back of the room, that looked directly into a tree. However, that was fine with me. I love trees! And it became a silly little ritual to step onto that balcony, morning and evening, reach out and shake a branch of the tree, as if greeting an old friend. The balcony was also my temperature check point. Every morning, it was warm and humid!

Enjoy these photos of my room:

Meeting Street Inn bed
Gorgeous four poster bed. On the other side of the bed was a little step stool, in case one needs help getting into bed! I didn’t need it.
Chairs by the window
Comfy chairs by the shuttered window. This was my afternoon tea spot.
Writing table and refrigerator
Writing table, that became my catch all every day, little refrigerator and next to that, the armoire with TV, drawers and hanging space.
private bathroom
And the bathroom. I loved the ample counterspace plus the door had a full size mirror.

Amenities

I loved everything about my room, slept so soundly in the comfortable bed and felt at home. Additionally, how convenient to grab breakfast in the morning before going out to wander about. I’m vegan, however the inn offers cereals and packets of oatmeal that I could eat, plus bagels, English muffins, banana and blueberry muffins, yogurt, milk, coffee, tea and juices. All food items are packaged or wrapped for safety. The nibbles in the evening, which consists of crackers, cheeses and fruit, are already plated and wrapped as well.

The in room refrigerator meant I could keep plant based milk, snacks and leftovers there, which was so helpful.

I appreciated the water and ice dispenser in the lobby. I stopped by three times a day, at least, to refill my metal water container. And in the afternoons I fixed a hot tea. I brought my own tea bags, but no need. Meeting Street Inn offers an assortment of teas.

And the garden courtyard is a wonderful place to relax. I walked through it multiple times each day and spent my first evening in Charleston perched on a chair there, soaking the wonder in. The beauty of the courtyard soothes the soul…and a weary body after a full day of fun exploring.

Meeting Street Inn courtyard 3
I adored the courtyard.

Meeting Street Inn Staff

And finally, I must mention the staff.

From the moment I walked into the lobby on Sunday afternoon, until I left on Thursday morning, I felt cared for. I called the inn a couple of days before arrival, to let them know what time my flight landed in Charleston and when I expected to be there. I was greeted by name on Sunday, as I walked into the lobby. The kind man at the front desk had my keys ready for me and all the paperwork printed out for my inspection.

Everyone at Meeting Street Inn, from front desk personnel to cleaning staff, expressed kindness, courtesy and helpfulness. If I asked a question, I got an answer. When I walked by the lobby via the courtyard, I received a friendly wave and a smile through the window. When I filled up my water container I was asked how I was enjoying Charleston.

I Love Your Hair!

My first full day at the inn, I met one of the cleaning staff, up on the fourth floor veranda. Because I adopt eco-friendly practices as much as possible, I placed a “Do not disturb” sign on my door so that my room wouldn’t be cleaned. I reused my towels, made my bed each morning without a change of sheets  and gathered up my own trash. This sweet young woman told me if I needed anything, to let her know. And then she complimented me on my long silver hair.

I smiled and returned the compliment. She had the most gorgeous long dark hair, styled in micro braids. And her beautiful face just lit up when she smiled. On Tuesday morning, she quietly knocked on my door, just as I was about to leave to join a historic tour. She wanted to make sure I was okay and wondered if I needed anything. I gratefully accepted two washcloths. We laughed as we said again how much we liked each other’s hair. And as I walked with her down the veranda, toward the elevator, she told me that she was off the next two days and wouldn’t see me again. This endearing woman told me goodbye and wished me much fun during my remaining days in Charleston and safe travels when I left. She made my day.

The staff is truly exceptional here.

Meeting Street Inn courtyard street view
The welcoming view stepping through the street side door, into the courtyard.

I Highly Recommend Meeting Street Inn

The location, the rooms and amenities, that courtyard and the staff…together they create the perfect place to stay while in Charleston. I highly recommend this accommodation because where you stay has a profound effect on the rest of your trip.

When I return to Charleston, and I will return, Meeting Street Inn will once again become my cozy temporary abode. In fact, it will feel like I’m returning home when I visit.

Have you explored Charleston’s Historic District? Where did you stay? And do you have any questions about Meeting Street Inn? I’m happy to answer them or tell you more about my happy experience there. If I can’t answer your question, I know the good people at the inn will help me out.

I can’t wait to see them all again…and walk through that courtyard on my way to my room.

Courtyard

Click this LINK to learn more about Meeting Street Inn or to reserve a room.

Plus check out my post Fun Things to Do in Charleston and this helpful Charleston historical district map from Amazon.

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.