I’m in love with stones not because of their energy or frequencies or meaning and not because they look pretty in jewelry. I love stones because I love life! I love stones because they are a small celebration of this precious earth I call home and what it means to me that it exists. That I exist. They are a symbol of a something much greater than myself. They are a tiny, broken piece of a gigantic rock, which I love, that is spinning and flying through the vast nothingness (and everythingness) that is our Universe. They are a piece of history, of a timeline that stretches unfathomably before me and unfathomably after me. They are a small piece of the mountains outside my window. They connect us all as the ground that we walk upon.
Rocks are not the only thing I cherish and worship from this earth. Aside from souls I also like to collect feathers and shells, sticks and bones, plants and art and anything else that I think is a reminder of the fact that I am a part of this universe. A part of a going on that is much greater than just me. I want to learn the exact conditions of pressures and heat that forged each stone that I cherish so much. I want to learn the names of the trees of the sticks I gather and all about the birds that carried those feathers and the people that created that art and the lives that they lead. I want to visit every place imaginable and touch it in a way that stretches far past the surface to a true spiritual experience. I want it to leave an impression on me, I want to be moved by it and its history and its people. I want to be able to taste the salty air of the pacific long after I am far from its sandy dunes. I want to be able to feel the weight of the heavy and humid air in my lungs of the hot sweaty east coast summers well into the bitter cold winter.
Does anything really exist if we never actually see it, hear it, smell it, remember it? People tell us it exists, but I want to touch it. I want to know its details in my bones through experience, not just going and doing or seeing but truly BEING that moment and letting it infuse into my soul. Maybe it seems silly but cherishing these little pieces of the world we live in is just a small way that I confirm life. I EXIST!
It is not the rock that I cherish, that is only a symbol of the life we live. And by “life” I don’t mean just the goings on and events of our lives but the true essence of life itself. This extremely rare gift that we are given for a short time of breath and love and togetherness and even the simplest of things like seeing with our eyes the colors of a sunrise or sunset. Sure life has good days and bad days but it is the essence of that life that lies beneath all the details that I cherish more than anything. It is so damn precious to me and this beautiful rock or soft feather is just another way I get to celebrate it. So yeah, rocks are cool.
Driving on these roads, these roads that I grew up on, these roads that taught me how to drive. Its so surreal. It’s as autonomous as breathing. I get lost in thought. Memories attached to every passing location. The bank that I got my first car loan at and still have accounts with. That print shop we got tee shirts from for the 5k we organized for the town that one time. The gym I used worked at and would bike the seven miles to and from everyday. The road that is so beautiful it always makes me cry when I drive down it because I feel so connected to life. Finally, today’s destination, the apartment complex I used to live in, the one I loved, the one I called home for longer than any other dwelling place in my history.
My heart starts beating uncontrollably, my throat tightens and my nose tingles and everything gets kinda blurry as I blink away the emotion. Cali. Her essence is strong here. I can see her running around in the grass ignoring my calls and sniffing till she is sneezing uncontrollably. I wonder if her little canine brain ever remembers our life together. I see snowy days and sunny days. I see me practicing handstands and tumbling in the grass next to my blanket and coffee and journal.
And then the tears come. Not as a longing for past days but as an honor of the life I lived here. It was perfect for that time. It helped create the girl I am today and I wouldn’t change a single detail of it, good or bad. I take a walk. The patio that was my nurtured nest above the town still has a crocheted plant holder hanging from it even though another family dwells there now. Funny.
Off to Mica Beach. I forgot my rock collecting satchel. Maybe it’s better I don’t take the whole beach with me back to California in stony pieces…
It’s way overgrown. Like no one has used this space since I’ve gone. Side stepping poison ivy and batting away mosquitos, these things That I have been lucky enough to miss. I notice that a tree has fallen at Mica Beach Number One as I look down from the trail. I walk to Number Two and spend a moment there. I’m saving my favorite for last. The fresh, softly flowing water tickling my eardrums is cold and crisp. I don’t want to stay here, I’m going to Number Three. The toads and I hop along the trail a little further.
My steps are conscious and deliberate, my feet have memorized the way. Boy, is it overgrown. Mica Beach Number Three is barely accessible. I’ll be looking for ticks at the end of this day I’m sure. It’s not as welcoming as it once was. Even the energy has changed. Could that have been my once constant presence here? I’d like to think so.
Mica beach Number Three is inaccessible by land, I’ll have to walk up the river but for now I want to sit and be. Take it all in and be so grateful for this place and its contribution to my soul. So many life events happened and unraveled in my soul here on these very stones. I want to notice every piece because one day when I come back to visit I won’t come here again and it’ll be “that place That I loved that one time,” it’ll be my past as already it is slipping into the past. Maybe this time here is a goodbye, an acceptance and honored love of what was while consciously stepping onto a new path. As my right foot has already made contact with the next beloved pathway that journeys through my life, this visit here is my left foot still very much planted on this path of my past and it is about to lift off and follow in suit.
It feels like a dream. A perfect, cherished dream with a taste so sweet I want to remember it forever.
So much bitterness and resentment. Don’t ever blame the happenings of your life in someone else. Your life is YOUR responsibility. No one else’s. Period. If you’re upset, you’re upset with YOU. Don’t be disillusioned. That’s a curse that takes you down a long road of unhappiness. YOU should have made the change not sat around waiting for someone else to take the initiative for your happiness.
Take responsibility. Take responsibility for your feelings and emotions. Take responsibility for your actions and fuck ups. Take responsibility for your past and present. And most importantly, take responsibility for your future. If you’re not happy or fulfilled, change it. Don’t wait for a sign or for someone else to tell you it’s okay, or that it’s time…the unsettled feeling you have in your spirit IS your sign! In the end, it’s your happiness, it’s your life and you don’t get to sit back later and make excuses. You don’t get to blame everyone and every circumstance based on someone else’s action or lack of action on the fact that you wish life had been different.
Live life dang it! We only have one. We only have a short time and then it’s gone. It’s gone and we don’t get another one. This moment is all we have in our grip. Take it. It’s yours!!!
People love their brokenness. They want to grovel in it. Wear it proud like a bright cape or blanket screaming their ailments. It is cherished even though the words they speak are of wanting to rid themselves of the poison that is thickening their blood. They chant wants of hope and lightness and ease of life but their secret is they love their brokenness. It’s grown a part of them and now they can’t see where their pain ends and their flesh begins. It becomes their identity. Death, loss, sickness, depression, loneliness and lack becomes their life anthem and as they spend their time asking the world for pity, they trick even themselves into believing they want a new way, a different outlook, but they secretly love it. After all, it is all they know. It’s consumed their being. There is no other way.
Some people fall into this life through the inevitable hardships of life, and some people were just programmed to be this way from the beginning. They aren’t willing to make a rough cut against the grain, against all they’ve ever known. They don’t want to change their mindset or behavior. They don’t want difficult, after all, to them their whole existence has been difficult. They want easy and they just want to complain about every little thing. You mention some sweet and simple beauty of the world and they can seek out the flaw. You try to dance and shake your body in joy and they’ll sit and list all the reasons why they can’t be happy. You laugh your contagious laugh and even though it may seem to you that they are laughing along, inside they claw with all their might into the deep dark brokenness that they love.
Rid your life of those people. Be the light. Be love at every turn. Hope and joy radiate from every cell, creating a vibration that drives the poisonous people away. We have no time for that bull shit. We only life 80 years if we are lucky!!! Sing out loud and dance to every song. Look like a fool and don’t give a shit. Seek out every single tiny simple beauty from the subtle way the trees dance in the wind to the giant immovable mountains etched with the waning light of the setting sun. See every sky. Clouds or no and note that it is a painting, a once in a lifetime composition just for you at just that moment. Live life goddammit! Live out loud and with every breath scream and shout your existence to the universe! What have you got to lose?
It’s in the deep dark night when you’re stirring out of a solid sleep, maybe you’ve been dreaming and the taste of imagination is still so potent and your mind gets to thinking the clearest thoughts. The ones with the most creative spin. It’s in those moments that your mind hasn’t hardened enough to talk yourself out of ideas that you think could set the world on the right track. It’s in those soft moments when the whole thing makes sense and the solutions and creative ideas flow freely. Your brain hasn’t taken sides yet, you’re not firmed in your beliefs. It’s in those easy and creative and soft moments of the early early morning where thought is the ripest. I love those moments.
Sometimes my dreams occupy fictional and non-fictional places that I continuously return to in my dream world. I’ll know that I’ve dreamed of this place before. It’s like dream de ja vu.
I was riding my bike home after a night working at Sullivan’s Steakhouse and the sky was so freckled with bright and beautiful stars. I got the feeling that I wanted more. I was seeking the stars throughout the entire dream. It was almost like they were silently beckoning me.
I was lost. I stumbled upon a party in a home I had been to before in my dream world and biked by all these chatty women drinking champagne. Around the corner from the party I ran into a little boy on his bike whose eyes looked like they were the painted night sky, bright blue with bright white stars. His whole body looked normal but his eyes were straight from an oil painting of the sky. Almost 2D even. It was creepy, but not in a scary way, it was a comfort. The night sky in his eyes. He was lost and didn’t want me to help him because I was a stranger but I was lost myself.
We snuck into a home where everyone was sleeping and turned the tv on which seemed to give us some sort of direction home. I made sure he had a phone or something that he could tell the street names with and helped him get to the front door to escape. We both had bikes and moving around was cumbersome and awkward. I spun the huge lock on the big handled red door and hoisted him up the waiste high huge step that didn’t seem to be there before and he was trying to thank me but was stuttering so much I had to rush him along, someone was stirring and I knew they had a dog based on the food and water bowls on the floor right behind us. The little boy looked up at me from his belly on the step with his painted night sky eyes and said he would be okay and I shut the door and booked it to the glass back door, I could see my freedom but all of a sudden everyone was awake. The wife looked at me with disgust and she was one of the champagne girls with champagne glass in her hand and said, “Was she good Charles?” And I said, “Nonsense! I don’t do such unspeakable things,” and grabbed my bike and ran for the back door. I hopped on my bike and went around as many corners as possible and somehow was still right out front of his home. Charles came out in his robe and was chasing me, threatening me with some kind of weapon and I couldn’t get away.
Multiple scenarios seemed to play out to different endings. One where I played like the little boy, lost and asking for help, I was laying on Charles’ lawn with his big golden retriever dog petting his paws, one where I hid in the bushes of his home right under his nose that he ran elsewhere looking for me, one where I had gotten away and was heading the wrong way against traffic on 202 and still trying to catch a glimpse of the stunning stars in the black sky but the headlights of cars were the stars. Pedaling so hard and fast but not seeming to get anywhere up the big hill. Then I woke up.
It captivated me unlike any other dream I’ve had in a long long time. I laid in bed for a minute trying to cement the dream into my mind so I’d remember when I woke up but it impressed me so much that I couldn’t let it slip so I immediately wrote it down. They boys eyes. I’ll never forget. I keep seeing them. So weird.
My sister is here visiting. It is amazing and so much fun to just be in each other’s company. Oh, how I’ve missed her. She is away for the day and I can’t help but feel this overwhelming emotion of loneliness. Like a dark cloud in my periphery that I’ve been ignoring is finally making its way in line of my sunshine. I miss my momma. I miss my home. I miss the life I chose to leave in hopes of adventuring the world and beginning on a new path into the unknown. Well, here ya go.
I am out at the park. It’s a disaster from the events being held here. People have strewn trash everywhere. From beer bottle caps to starburst wrappers, innumerable plastics and metals and papers litter the ground. So I begin to pick it all up. I know they have staff to do this stuff but it is my responsibility. If only the rest of the world felt that same weight of responsibility…
So I cry and I clean, and I sniffle and hold back the tears and pick up the waste of humanity. I can’t help but cry. I know I can’t feel sorry for myself, after all, it was a huge, conscious decision to trek the country and plant ourselves 3,000 miles away from the people and places I’ve called home for almost my entire life. Between sniffles I remind myself that this phase is temporary and a little uncomfortability will teach me something that will become a precious and valuable addition to the pocket of ‘lessons learned’ that I have collected over my short life. The sting of this time will fade and not having a community or social routines to fall on will give way to intentions set and eventually will manifest into the life I love and need to thrive. With people. With people that I will come to know and love. Coming here, to California was step one. Now, it’s time to stop living in my cave which I’ve happily embraced and emerge into the new community in which I’ve planted my life. Soon my roots will take to the soil and my life will begin to adapt and grow here. I’ll make friends.
I am picky, I know. I am too picky probably with the people that I fill my limited, precious time with. My standards are so high that I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I won’t meet anyone who will be worthy to spend my time with. That’s shallow thinking, I know, but I find that people my age are so young in their minds. I connect better with the older generations. People who have traveled the world and seen things. People who have lived hard lives and come out on the other side with a zest that the younger generations are lacking in. Especially out here. Everyone has grown up in money. They’ve never lived a hard day in their life. I can’t relate to that.
I know they exist…or do they? Young women who don’t just want to party every single night? People who want to connect on a higher level instead of droning out on drugs or alcohol and filling their lives with the drama of who they’re fucking or who they wanna fuck or stupid friends that did this or said that and, “how dare they?” Save it. I’m over it. It’s not like every conversation needs to be weighted or serious or heavy but I like to live my life more along the lines of what Eleanor Roosevelt says,
“Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.”
There’s just better things to engage about in my opinion. The worlds events, why poverty exists, the duality of “good and evil,” does good and evil actually exist, why we do the things we do, why we engage in the habits we engage in, what lies just beyond the surface of this world that we interact with daily? These ideas fascinate me. Where do I find those people? I need to get out more. I need to seek them out. I am so introverted. I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to find them. I’m so stubborn. I want to interact on my own schedule and on my own timeline. I don’t want to give more than I get, which is something that I easily slip into because the world relentlessly takes and takes all it can and when you ask for something in return it turns its back laughing. These are the exact reasons why making friends has never come easily to me. Ever. Surface relationships are simple and easy. But real friends, real people I can count on and also want to give my all for, it is a rare thing in my life. I can truly count on one hand those people that I trust and love. Without compromising what you love and what you need to thrive as a being, how? How do you have real friendships? It seems so obscure to me. I miss the ones I’ve already made, the ones I’ve already invested so much of my heart and soul in.
I miss my daily routines with the people I love in the places familiar to me. The places that are welcoming and warm. Where people know me and greet me and can’t wait to engage because they’ve heard my name around town or have attended one of my yoga classes. I miss going to my favorite secret places. Mica Beach. Ugh. My heart aches right now. A real physical pain in my chest of longing for some kind of familiar comfort. Even through the tears I can hear the fight between my mind and heart. The logic and emotion are at battle somewhere deep within and immediately after each despairing idea comes a hopeful and logical response. I will build a new life. It will be as beloved as the one I had on the east coast and I’ll be growing my horizons as much as I’m growing in every other way. I will stay in touch with the ones I love, the ones that matter most to me. I will not let go of the places I’ve been. I’ll even be able to add new people and places to my life. Because that’s what we do. We change and we move and we adapt and I’ve always wanted this and I knew all along the way that it wouldn’t be easy. But you go anyway and you learn and you grow and you expand.
So now it’s time to step out and create a community and start emerging from this hide-out that I’ve become so comfortable in. In the midst of such change I’ve created this little chrysalis of comfort and now it’s time to start breaking out of it and becoming a little more uncomfortable. Isn’t that kinda what life is about? Being uncomfortable and growing to make that uncomfortable place home? Seeing a challenge and rising to meet it? Expanding in every way? Well, that’s life to me.
Who knows what the future holds, who knows where I’ll end up and what beautiful souls and lessons I’ll have collected along the way. I embrace this time. I recognize it as painful and I’m not ashamed to cry and to feel every ounce of it. That’s how it changes me, that’s how it affects me, that’s how I know where to plant my foot for the next step. With awareness and mindful of every aspect of where I’ve been and where I’m going. So I guess we will just see. This moment though, this moment is perfect. And maybe a little bit difficult, but perfect nonetheless, I am alive and healthy and I understand. I get it. The simple beauty to the entire thing. Life. And I love it so damn much.
I’ve begun whittling and carving. It’s amazing and fun.
A friend of mine and fellow artist and I were having an email conversation about creating. This is how I feel about creating in any way:
“And I completely understand what you mean by getting in the zen like zone. When it comes to the things we create it’s like “feeling” what is locked inside of these formless materials and letting the medium take you on its journey. We unlock the next phase of those materials lives. I am merely a vessel for the already existing beauty in the world to come to the surface. It takes a oneness with everything that is to listen and feel closely enough to allow that subtle beauty to be passed through us. We are lucky. Most people can’t even see it. Even standing in front of the most breathtaking forms of creation in this world, whether it is a human being, a painting, a building, a garden, a mountain ridge, a slice of ancient history, the depth is lost on a shallow mind and heart. But to be able to see every single thing as something so profound and so special, so unique and the product of so many things gone right in just the right procession, that’s true oneness with all that is. That’s true enlightenment. That’s why I love being an artist!!”
From the intricate design product of all of evolution to the splattering of a child’s finger paintings, this world hold so much beauty. We are so busy rushing off from one appointment to the next that strolling through the park or looking up to the painting in the sky is lost on people.
How?! How could this be?! And how do we get back to valuing the slower pace of life. Chewing slowly to taste the chefs creation. Walking slowly to notice the buzzing of a whole buggy community right under your feet. When will we realize that more is not more, less is more. Fast isn’t efficient, slow is efficient. Let the seconds and minutes of life last a lifetime, don’t wish them away because you’re bored. If that is the case you’re not paying enough attention. You want to live longer?! You wish life could last forever? Then slow down and take a breath and feel every ounce of it travel through your nose and drip down your throat and fill up your lungs. Cherish it. See the beauty in every single simple thing.
You’re bored in math class? Realize what that math actually means instead of stressing about the moments creeping by till the bell rings. It is the foundation, the language of all we can see and interact with. It is how we describe the world we live in.
You wish work would go quicker? Then you’re not paying attention. Why do you do what you do? Simply to pay the bills? But what about all the magic and beauty tucked away in all the hiding places of your boring day? The miraculous beings you interact with have a world and a story of their own. Do you know anything about it or them? The system you’re a part of whether you’re pushing papers or serving tables is an intricate design of something so much bigger than this moment. Than this job. It is connected in so many ways to the beloved world and its systematic homeostasis.
Just your breath alone is something magical and yet we check out of the process all together way too often.
Let’s get back into touch with real life. Let’s practice mindfulness and slowing down. Let’s decide to live for today instead of wishing this life away for the promise of a hypothetical eternal life afterwards. Let’s stop writhing in uncomfortability of the boring or the mundane and seek the magic in it all. Let’s go back to that childlike wonder.
After all, every single thing you touch goes on forever. Infinitely. Inward and outward, upward and downward, forward and backward. Inside that tiny leaf there is a whole story, a working world of knowledge, how it inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen. How it photosynthesises light and assimilates the nutrients in the earth to become its stem and feeds the trunk of a redwood giant that lives longer than any human could ever dream! Inward, all the way down to the tiny puzzle like interlocking mechanisms that keep that leaf together all the way outward to its function in keeping our earth breathing and healthy, there is a story. A history.
Forward and backward and you get this insanely amazing opportunity to be able to interact with it for a single slice of that infinite timeline. That history and intricacy exists for every single thing and being we interact with. Infinitely inward and infinitely outward there is a dance playing out. Let’s fall in love with that dance again and let this life be the finest sips of the sweetest nectar that ever could have existed. And I bet by the time it’s our time to move on from this life, if we’ve lived like that every day, we will be full enough to let it go, not regretting a single moment.
(This post took a turn but it was meant to be.)
Love in. Love out.
If you’ve ever felt insecure about your “meat sack,” if you’ve ever wished you looked a certain way or compared your body to some photoshopped model on the pages of some dumb magazine, if you’ve ever cast judgements on someone else’s looks or body type or declared that they should or shouldn’t be wearing a certain article of clothing based on their body type…watch this. Kathryn Budig, one of my favorite role models ever speaks up about one of the most important messages of our time. Self-love. From the day I started my journey of fitness and health, this very message has been on my lips to anyone who can hear my rantings. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself! In this moment no matter what you look like, what you think is pretty or fit or hot or not. Love yourself exactly the way you are right this moment. That’s where the magic lies. If you’ve ever wished you could make a change in your life to live for health, I PROMISE you the magic does not dwell in the space of self-hate or beating yourself or anyone else up about the way our “meat sack” looks. We need to change the neural connections of the associations of ourselves. From negative self-talk to love and acceptance. We are God. We are the very manifestation of magic and we deserve to worship the very vessel that we inhabit. Twenty minutes and Kathryn will make you feel like owning the world and your skin. Watch this now or save it for a rainy day but I promise you you will not have wasted that small amount of time. You’ll have gained everything. Thank you Kathryn Budig. You amaze me.
will not be well documented in the history books of our time.
It will not be talked about by scholars or revolutionaries.
It will not sweep the world by social media with a movement of sorts.
The kind of legacy I want to leave will be silently carried in the hearts of the people I interacted with during my lifetime.
It will be spoken one-on-one in words of kindness and little jingles and mantras that remind us of true love and beauty.
It will be remembered by few but it will spread fast in peoples own words of the truths we spoke about and believed in.
The kind of legacy I want to leave will be small but it will be mighty and real as hell.