March 2018 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

My Guardian Angel


In New Zealand….hiking for four days on the Milford Track with my husband…. Day Two is the hike over McKinnon Pass…..and we wake up to RAIN….more Rain…..and yes, more Rain... All Day….NO VIEWS at the pass…..


Any Good News?  YES!  Waterfalls popping up everywhere – an almost 360 degree view of mountains raging with waterfalls that weren’t there 24 hours earlier.


Any Bad News?  YES! Some of those waterfalls now do their raging across our trail.


I came to the first one. The waterfall was 15 feet across and we were on 3 foot wide path with a 200 foot drop off.  My husband crossed. I was paralyzed with fear.  My husband shouted words of encouragement. He pointed from a distance to where I should step to make my way across. What I really ached for was to hold his hand and he was just too far away.


I whispered a quiet plea for help.


Help came in the form of a guardian angel. My guardian angel was a South Karean couple who spoke very little English. They hiked up behind me. The husband, using only one word “here”, and his walking stick pointed out where I should put each foot, one at a time, mind you in pouring rain!  Step: Tap….”here”…….Next Step: Tap….”Here”….. Tap….”Here” until I reached my husband and he could take over. When I took my last step I grabbed onto my husband who was standing as close as possible to the waterfall without being in it. We molded into one as I clung to him.


Then the joy…I did it!!!  I turned to thank my guardian angel but he was already gone.


So what did I learn?

When faced with paralyzing fear – ask for help.

Don’t be surprised by your guardian angel when he/she appears. It might not be the person or form you expected.


I was talking to a friend about this idea. She mentioned that a few years ago she went to a workshop offered by an intuitive. The only thing she remembered about the workshop was this: “We have guides around us always. The key is: you need to ask for their help in order for them to step forward.


Where are you experiencing paralyzing fear in your life? Consider asking for help….

and being open to whatever guardian angel appears.

January 2018 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

Reclaim Our Hope

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. “ E.F. Schumacher.

In this world of natural disasters (fires, hurricanes and earthquakes),  #MeToo revelations, gun violence, new tweets and policies from Washington, I seem to start each day wary of what will be revealed next.


My biggest worry is the crisis with North Korea. My son and daughter-in-law are teaching in South Korea at an international school. I watch powerless as two leaders rattle their sabers. I want to scream that this may be a game of strategy to you but to me it is the safety of those I love most in the world.


I wake each day wearing a cloak of despair.


I ask myself: “How will I survive 2018?”


I realized that I first must recognize that these crises ultimately distract me from what’s really important.


So what is most important? Where can I start?


What if what we can do is start by reclaiming our hope?


What if we begin by fostering hope within each one of us?


I have a vision of our hope rippling outwards and touching others. I believe that it is from this base of hope that we can begin to find our way though the year ahead making a difference one person at a time.


May you be a blessing…..


May you be a blessing to yourself, your loved ones,

and the world.

December 2017 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

By the Numbers


During the hustle and bustle of this season I wanted to share with you three simple practices to hopefully bring calm, peace and presence into your holiday.


When I start becoming consumed by my ‘to dos’ at this time of year, my husband always asks me: “Leslie, please remind me… What is it that you teach?” He supplies the gift of a question to bring me back to myself and to what matters most.


My gift to you is a way to discover that calm, peace and presence amidst the busyness of the season.


My Gift: By the Numbers 5, 3 and 1.*


  • For 5 minutes a day, meditate or consciously breathe.


  • Write down 3 good things that happened each day.


  • Do 1 act of kindness each day.*


Give this gift to yourself and watch as it spills over to envelope your family and friends.


Give you and your family

the gift of peace and calm for the holidays.


* Shilagh Mirgain




November 2017 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

Harvest Your Joy!


I recently attended a Cheryl Richardson Retreat in Maine.  For one activity she asked us to share with each other when we feel the most alive.  This is what bubbled up for me.


My Joys:

  • My two grandsons running to me when I arrive with outstretched arms exclaiming: “Nana, Nana, I missed you!  I love you!”
  • My four year old granddaughter chatting away about her day in the back seat on our way to the children’s theater.
  • My eight-month old granddaughter crab crawling from the play room through the kitchen to get to her Nana, raising her arms up so she can be picked up and cuddled.
  • Walks through the vibrant woods with my husband.
  • Basking in wonder at the wisdom of the women in my life.
  • Laughing on a king sized bed late into the night with my sisters.
  • Traveling to new, exotic and distant places with my soul mate.
  • Walking by the ocean listening to the waves, feeling the sun on my face.


What are your joys?  When do you feel the most alive?


Imagine scheduling your life around where you feel the most alive?


Imagine choosing joy…..


Experiencing pleasure and joy in your life can be an antidote to your addictions of:

  • Shopping
  • Eating
  • Busyness
  • Chocolate
  • ____________


What if you create new ways of being in the world and choose what gives you pleasure instead of those obligations that are sucking the life out of you?


Follow your heart….


Follow the yearning of your soul…..


And see where it takes you….


“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves,

and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” -Agnes Reppier