We continue the countdown of my top 10 favorite personal moments from this past year. Click here to see the first five.

Lunch at A Gambe di Gatto in Multepulciano Italy

As I mentioned in part one, I could’ve filled the whole list with special moments from our three-week visit to Italy but have limited the top 10 to only three. This second one comes from Tuscany. We stayed in a little rural B&B called Fattoria San Martino. The owner grew organic food which she served in her meals. She served dinner a couple of times a week – and we lucked out on the night we arrived, joining 10 other guests for a vegetarian feast and a lot of red wine. We were the only Americans but luckily most folks could speak English. From the resort we could look up to the hilltop town of Multepulciano. At night, fireflies lit the area around the B&B. Our host recommended that we dine in town at least once at A Gambe di Gatto. It was a great suggestion. We wandered into the restaurant one afternoon about 3 PM, having just explored the town. The restaurant is run by a couple – the man waiting tables, his wife cooking in the kitchen. In excellent English, he gives you an education in olive oils, fine wine and balsamic vinegar. At some point during the meal your table will be overwhelmed by bottles of each. He explains the differences in each as you sample. All the while, he shares stories of he and his wife, how they came to open the restaurant and how she cooked her way into his heart. Hours later, we depart – satiated and educated and full of love. It was one of the best meals in my life and one of the best experiences of this past year.

My Birthday Dinner

Yes, I went on a cruise for my birthday which was one of the earlier top 10 experiences. Yet, my real birthday did not occur until a couple of days after we returned home. By previous agreement, Mary and I decided to spend the day home alone. During the afternoon, I sat and talked with her while she prepared dinner. That time, in and of itself, was a fantastic and romantic moment. She was cooking so much food that I kidded her about all the leftovers we would have. Little did I know, she’d invited four close friends over to join us for dinner. I was surprised and pleased. What a moment.

Getting on the Wrong Train in Como Italy

The third Italian top 10 moment came in the most unexpected way. We were leaving Como via train on the way to the  Cinque Terre. We needed to change trains in Milano. There was a 30 minute window to do this. While still in Como, an announcement on the PA system said the train to Milano was delayed. I started fearing we would not make a connection. But then lo and behold, a train rolled up at just the right time saying it was going to Milano. I told Mary we needed to get on it. As soon as we did, we realized it was a mistake! This was a local train, not one of the express type that we had been riding. We immediately tried to get the door open to get off with our luggage, but couldn’t. One young Italian man – the only person on the car – tried to help us to no avail. The train started rolling. I felt panic set in. Yet, within a few moments, Mary and the young man had figured out that we were going to a different station in Milano than where we needed to be. They called our travel agency on his cell and they advised us that we could take a train an hour later – yet we needed to get to the wrong Milano station and take a subway to the right one. Everything seemed doable. We thanked the young man when he got off at his station. We continued on and got off at what we thought was the Milano station where we needed to catch the subway. We asked someone and they advised us we should of stayed on the train from which we had just disembarked! However, they helped us get on another train heading towards the station with the Metro. That train stopped in the middle of nowhere and I began to come to grips with the fact that we would not make the next train to Cinque Terre either. Then, an angel appeared in the form of a young man in an Italian suit who offered to help. Our train started up again, we finally made it to the wrong Milano station and the young man walked us all the way onto the Metro taking us to the right one. We made our train to Cinque Terre with less than five minutes to spare before it started rolling. As Mary and I sat back and exhaled, we reflected upon all the kind people who had to helped us in our hour-long adventure to get us back on “track”. We were amazed and realized how blessed we were.

Giving a Talk for the Spiritual Living Archives

I have to admit that some of my best moments of being “in the flow” come when I am giving presentations to groups. When I was a kid, I was afraid to speak in public. I took a speech class in college simply to confront the fear. Since then, my entire adult life has been an ironic conspiracy to put me in front of groups. The fact is, I now love it. The editor of Science of Mind magazine and the director of the Spiritual Living Archives asked me to give a presentation in September as a fundraiser for the archives and to draw attention to their resources. Here’s a web link to the archives so you can read more about them. Using their resources, I researched articles from issues of Science of Mind from the 1950s to present all on the topic of “spiritual evolution”. I had a blast putting the presentation together and was pleased by the turnout on a weeknight to hear me talk. A video of the presentation should be on the Internet soon. Although I did a lot of public speaking this past year, getting to do this one and the kind feedback I received was really special.

This Moment Right Now

I mean that in two ways. One way is that by going through the process of focusing upon the moments that were special this past year, the very act of reminiscing warms my heart and makes me feel good. I realize how I live a truly blessed life. Focusing upon these moments helps me see this. Try it and you will know what I am talking about. The second way I mean it is that this moment right now is the moment that I am experiencing – and it is special. The matter what happened in the past nor what might happen in the future, this is the moment where my consciousness is experiencing my life. Every moment is a fantastic moment, if we choose to see it that way. No matter what may be going on in our lives – whether we choose to label them good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant – the experience of life is truly a gift. It’s lived in the now. Right now is one of my top 10 moments.

What are your top moments? Can you see this moment – right here right now – as a fantastic and magical experience? It is.

Happy new year!

Mark

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!