1,000 Steps

  

Yesterday was one of the greatest days. I could actually say that about every single day. That magic is captured in our perspective on life. But yesterday was truly something special. 

Sometimes the days here are long and empty, sometimes the days here are active and busy, sometimes the days here are unbearably lonely and sometimes they are so full of connection and love I can’t do anything but smile and sigh. Some days are foggy and unclear, I stumble around wondering why? What is the purpose of it all? How can I make a difference in this world? How can I leave a legacy that’s radiating with love and kindness? Some days I get it completely, at the core of my being, I understand exactly what life is about and why we are here. It is so simple. There is no purpose. This moment is the purpose. It’s light and easy and so so blissful. 

Every day I am faced with some hint of our mortality. I don’t see it as morbid, I see it as a mediation. When you face your mortality often you realize that this moment is all that exists and what was yesterday doesn’t matter anymore, let it go. What will be tomorrow and if you’ll even be around to see it doesn’t matter, let it go. All that we have is right now. This moment is where the magic of life dwells. If we spend our lives practicing being in this moment, making the most of it, sensing all that lies within it instead of wishing it away or letting it pass by while we are somewhere else in our minds entirely, I believe we actually live a longer life. Time is relative and there is clear science on that, I want this short life to seem like it lasts forever and that ability is in our awareness of every moment. I want to drink in every single second as if this life were the most rare, beloved nectar of the gods and I’m lucky enough to have a sip. After all, that is the truth. 

  

Yesterday I was deciding what to do with my day…how could I make the most of it, how could I let it stand out as something special. I am an adventurer at heart but sometimes need a little kick to get me off the beaten trail. So I decided to be bold and find a new beach to explore, I’ve been wanting to find some awesome drift wood to whiddle and play with and my regular beach is getting extremely busy coming up on tourist season. So I googled because I needed a plan and found this amazing little beach called 1,000 Steps. It’s right off of the Pacific Coast Highway and I hesitate to mention the name because I want it for myself but I realize not many people read this so I think I’m mostly safe. I stumbled down the 200 or so steps and once the canopy opens up you’re met with the most stunning vision of the endless ocean. It is breathtaking. Little beach houses litter the cliffs of the rocky coastline, it is a sight to see. 

  

I set up right next to the waves. They had actually made a little sandy cliff and so I sat right on top of it, safe from the incoming waves but still right on top of the water. I started doing yoga after a long period of silent reverence. Something about the rythmic sound of waves crashing on the rocks and the ocean mist kissing my skin always makes me want to move and dance at the waters edge. A prayer of gratitude. How could I be so lucky? Does everyone feel this way? 

As soon as I dropped from my first handstand a gentleman appeared out of no where and what began as a conversation about flexibility and movement soon turned into one of the most fulfilling and awesome conversations I have had in quite some time. We connected so fluidly. Conversation came easily as one subject rolled into the next just as the waves in the background rolled in and out of one another, backed by an entire sea of life and experience eager for connection with the shore. 

 

Our heart actually emits an electrical energy, it reaches out into the world interacting with all that comes near. I have a very clear relationship with that energy and I can feel the true nature of others. Sometimes it’s cloudy and I have a hard time diciphering and sometimes it’s clear as day what the intentions of an individual are. Sometimes I’m clouded by charm or outward displays of kindness and I’ll question the relationship that I have with my gut, but more often than not I am right on par with my intuition and what I feel during an interaction with another. In hindsight I am most always right. 

Usually I am guarded when men come up to me on the beach, I am not naive. I am eager to interact with others and the inner god that we all house but I know what the world is after. Easy, shallow connection hoping that they can stay guarded and broken without having to reveal their wounds. Seeking acceptance and love while choosing to offer only the most appealing parts of themselves, skirting around anything real and yet hoping a real connection just magically appears. But this interaction was so different. A real interaction with a real human being. Not looking for anything beyond what it was. I felt so good. We chatted for hours watching the waves and speaking about life, all the kinds of things I love to talk about, all the things that reach beyond the monotony of our daily humdrum lives. When it was time to part I gave him a stone from my satchel, amethyst. To raise the frequency, to carry with him or to set in his home as a cleansing and pure reminder of the goodness that exists in the world. To remind him of true connection to a real being and to remind him to offer that to the world wherever he goes. 

I came home buzzing with good energy to my love whom was also buzzing with good energy. We laughed about our fridge being barren and our wallets being empty. We danced to folksy music and made a plan that would carry us through the rest of the week. Broke as hell but happier than ever!! We live in our favorite place, we are together and we are so damn grateful for everything in this life and even though we may not have furniture yet, ultimately, nothing else really matters in this world. We took a nice long walk in the dark to the grocery store with our last twenty bucks and when we came home we made a yummy healthy dinner together vowing that we wouldn’t let the leftovers go to waste. I’ve never been happier and sometimes when the days are long and lonely or my love is away and traveling and that loneliness is amplified that simple fact begins to get foggy. But right around the corner of every single moment I find clarity again. I find connection to the whole again. Whether it’s in the grass of my favorite park looking out onto the mountains which I longed to be in my view for years, or whether it is out at the beach with my bum in the sand looking out at the endless ocean. Whether it’s playing at my craft table creating art and expressing what’s inside or doing yoga or even in the dancing dinner moments with my love, I find that fullness again. I seek it and it is always there to fill my heart up with goodness. The circumstances may not be royal but the perspective is clear. We create our reality and happiness is something we create in our mindset of the happenings of our life. They can mean nothing or they can mean everything.  

 

Journal entry~April 4, 2014 (one year ago)

 

I feel like I am in a little place of peace right now in my life. No, I don’t know anything. Where we are going. Why we do the things that we do. Why our perspective is the way it is and how it got there. Every single person is so different from the other. Every single, individual being is unique. I’ve been telling my little yoga/mindful movement group about this very concept. Not necessarily about our perspective on life which is compiled of years and years of unique experiences and interactions and people that help to contribute to that completely individual perspective of the universe in its entirety.

~”It’s as if you had a light, covered with a black ball, and in this ball were pinholes, and each pinhole is an aperture through which the light comes out. So in that way every one of us is actually a pin hole, through which the fundamental light—that is the existence itself—looks out.” -Alan Watts ~

Rather, we have been talking about the physical idea of uniqueness in our bodies. Yes, we can use an anatomy book as a guide for the general structure of our body. We can learn the connection points and muscle functions but when it comes down to it we are a completely unique physical form. We are an organic material grown in the womb of another organic being whose choices and actions and even the stress they’re under have a significant impact on how that organic material is formed. The foods we eat and the way we interact with our own body impact the way our systems function and perform. The tumbles and falls we’ve experienced in our lifetime rearrange the structure of our physical form. Our unique gait and repetitive motions cause muscle imbalances. A million unique factors all combine beautifully throughout the course of our lives to create a completely unique and one-of-a-kind organically grown being! So ultimately, my practice is my own, it is also one-of-a-kind. No one else’s practice will look like mine. There is no, “it’s supposed to look like this,” or “it’s supposed to feel like this.” My warrior pose is mine and mine alone and only I can discover what that means to me by going on the journey, by deciding to practice and understand what warrior means to me, what it feels like in my own joints and in my own skin and ultimately, I’m my own life. As long as we can hold a position or a variation thereof, using whatever tools we need to, to be “comfortable and stable,” as the Yoga Sutras claim, then we are right, we are doing yoga!

Warriors.

Warriors.

All of this can be a direct metaphor for life I think, as I always think, haha. “Yoga” and “life” are interchangeable as words for me on a daily basis, as well as “position/posture” and “opinion.” We are all on this path to bliss. We are all trying to find what makes us happiest every single day. Who am I to judge what that looks like for an individual? Who am I to say that their posture or position or opinion should look or be this way, should be the same as mine? It’s true, some outlooks on life help to catapult us into productivity, learning and growth. Some outlooks on life tend to keep us still, stagnating in the waters of monotony, but all paths and journeys are seeking the same peak of enlightenment at the top of the mountain of life. Some people will make very small, struggled steps, spiraling around a tightly wound path up the mountain that exhausts them and they may even die trying to reach their bliss without ever truly finding it while some take this direct path to the top, expelling minimal effort to get there and they seem to get there long before the crowd does. Just as our physical, organically grown form is unique to each individual, so is our path or journey of life. It takes into account every piece of advice we’ve ever heard and taken to heart. It takes into account every time someone spoke words of encouragement, inspiring us to own our reality and it takes into account every time someone spoke hurtful words, slighting us and making us question what it’s all about and doubt whether we are good enough to continue on. Our path takes into account every time we’ve tumbled and fell along the way or been tripped up by an obstacle. Our path takes into account every input that creates a perspective and outlook on this world but I believe all paths are seeking the top of that mountain where we can stand up and say, “I made it,” “I get it,” “this is what it’s all about,” “this is the point to it all.”

The path is clear.

The path is clear.

I think I am on a good path with a good perspective. It is my own. It is beloved to me. It teaches me and guides me and yet I also have the power to guide it, changing course when I feel like I’m walking in circles. Ultimately, I adore this life. I am eager to learn all I can within this short venture of existence and I am hit in the heart every day with the reality of our very mortality as a human being. Even though that sounds morbid, it encourages me to bless every single day with actual presence. Nothing good lasts forever and I don’t believe we would find the sacredness of life if we were eternal. Of course, for me, I believe our collective consciousness goes on but we won’t be aware of it…just as we weren’t aware of our individuality before we were born…nor do I think it will matter, we return to this pool of love that is everything, all the time, everywhere. This background fabric of existence that fuels it all. I find it hard not to worship it all. Every single thing. Every single being I come into contact with. Every single green signal of life…the trees, the grass, flowers and all my beloved plants, my pets, the radiant Sun, the glorious Moon. I worship the universe. It is my god!

I worship it all!

I worship it all!

I am so thankful to have been born in this age, the age of knowledge, the age of science. We have a beautiful grasp and understanding of the complexity of the stars and the universe and a basic knowledge of how the fundamentals work. We can observe and see the physical laws that govern our world and yet we are still so far from knowing even a smidgen of the entirety that is our existence. It is meant to be that way. Elusive. Keeping us forever searching for answers. As we reach out into the void of nothingness it is being created right at our fingertips for us to grab hold and digest but there is always more to be known. We can never fully have it. It is like a beautiful woman…you catch a waft of her scent and a glimmer of her eyes before she slips behind a corner just out of reach. You seek her out around the corner but only catch a glimpse of her gown and flowing hair as she is off again, beckoning you to follow. You seek and seek and only ever get a small taste of her wondrous nature, lusting for more but you can never know the fullness of her touch. You’ll never fully be able to lock onto her, to grab her up and kiss her. Again, she is gone. So you seek. On a perpetual journey of seeking the universe and all that she has to offer. Both inward and outward she is boundless and unable to be contained. Many are too fearful to journey on anyway, in spite of knowing the simple truth that we will never fully know her but craving the excitement of the hunt and pressing on anyway. Few are brave enough to follow her endlessly into the vast darkness, always on the frontier of what is known and marching on with determination into the unknown. Sustained by the thrill of what small amount she is willing to reveal of herself and driven by sheer, dumb, bull headed stubbornness. I know for me personally, I just cannot get enough!

Here I am world! Take me or leave me! 

  

I usually censor and restrain myself greatly when it comes to social media…it may not seem that way because I do love to share. My story, my opinion, my ideas and beliefs. I always think that no one wants to hear or they roll their eyes and laugh at the silliness that is this “connection.” But truthfully, I am an over sharer because I love the idea that a piece of me will be taken and ingested, a mind or heart will feel the outreach of ideas and want to make them a piece of themselves. It creates a timeless being. I know that ideas (I’m an air sign, what can I say) linger and affect people. They stick around and maybe they’re disturbing or harsh or in some eyes “wrong” (although I don’t believe in right or wrong as there is too much subjectivity in this universe to support that idea–to me), they are timeless and will be passed along, they will be argued or silently meditated on. And I know they impress the world with my print. I’ve spent most of my days insecure and scared to bare my all to the world, even to the people closest to me or even (gasp!) to myself. Every day, with practice, slowly but surely I gain confidence in my voice. In the nature of what I stand for in this life (and yes it will change every single day and second because I want to experience it all) and I find more and more that it is worthy. Of honor, of love. I am a unique being, we each are and we each and every one of us are worthy to be seen and experienced. Usually it is only because of our own selves that we cut that influx of love short. No more, I say!! Stand up straight, with bright eager and lustful eyes for this vibrant and beautiful life! Shout your presence from every tiny piece of ground you occupy and never shy away when someone comes up against you, they just want to be heard too. They just want to be relevant and known too. So honor them and take what they have to say seriously. It is all of them. And this is all of me. Here I am world! Take me or leave me but it will not hinder my boisterous roar. I will leave my impression on this universe and it will echo on through eternity whether I am here to recognize it or not. And that’s damn fuckin beautiful!!!

I can’t believe we live here now!

  Jesse and I took a short walk the other day before he left for his business trip. I hate when he travels and now that my support system is on the other side of America, it can get really lonely. But I can’t believe we live here! This place is perfect for when he travels, everything I could ever need is within walking distance or even just a short drive away! This picture is the day before he left at the park right next to our apartment complex. Do you see that view?! I know he has a little box on his head but if you look just beyond that, that is our view!!!! Everywhere! It’s stunning and every day when I get up and out I look over to the mountains and realize just how lucky I am to be able to witness with my own two eyes the timelessness of this stunning Earth! It really puts life into perspective. Everyone should be able to have this view, everyone should be able to be reminded of how big this universe is everyday like this, everyone should be able to recognize how small and yet how important we each are every single day. The sad part is that the reverence would be lost on so many people. It is lost on so many people. I want to live in a way that I remind others of that reverence every single day.

This lovely life…

Most people’s idea of life is too small. It includes themselves and that’s it, and when it ends for them there must not be anything else afterwards. But it is so…small. It is scary to think that we mean nothing. Of course in that same breath I think we mean everything…but in the vast expanse of everything that ever has been and everything that ever will be, we mean nothing. We are not even an instant in all of time. I always like to think–of course time is relative–insects live their whole lives sometimes in a day or a week, their wings flap at a rate we can’t even witness with our big ol eyes…hummingbirds hearts beat so fast and they see the world we see in slow motion. A fly moves quicker than we could ever reach out to slap them…because time moves faster for them. A blue whales heart beats like this huge pump pressing slowly down on the blood to push it through the entirety of this huge animal. He experiences time on another level than a fly or a human. His time moves slow and his moves are weighted by water. His life is longer than any hummingbird living up to 90 years! What about the earth? This organism that lives and breathes. Inhaling the carbon dioxide and exhaling the oxygen. Then what about stars?! That explode into being and die with the same intensity? Like a heartbeat pulsing in and out of existence, scattering their guts throughout the universe to be reabsorbed by other stars and galaxies? Just as the human body dies and is buried to feed the grass and trees that feed off our nutrients. We come from this earth and we are fed straight back into the earth, indefinitely part of this wonderful earth and this wonderful universe. The earth is just a cell in a bigger picture. One day our sun will explode and take our solar system with it as the death of a human takes the life within our gut (millions of living organisms that have no awareness of the fact that they are just a part of our whole) and our cells with it…ugh!!!!! It’s so stunningly beautiful it makes my heart swell! We would do well to open our minds and hearts. We are nothing and yet we are everything. A part of this lovely cycle of death and rebirth. That’s heaven to me❤️

Up & Down, In & Out

We live in this very small plane of view. It is necessary for survival. We live in this tiny little bubble where we are constantly dealing with the people and happenings right within our sight, right within our grip. Outward and inward, upward and downward, infinity exists but we stay here. There is so much magic beyond the limited range of our individual perspective.

Every thing you see has a world of its own. An entire existence that we are unaware of. A droplet of water that we see colliding into a bigger body of water actually has its own intricate dance that we miss out on. It bounces and settles on the puddle because of its surface tension and then bursts and again, bounces and settles on the surface of the puddle. Smaller and smaller the droplet becomes until it is absorbed by the puddle in its entirety. We miss out on that dance because we don’t look closely enough, we never ask why? How? But if we can slow down, we can see that that insignificant droplet of water occupies an entire world of its own. A single cell that we perceive to be part of our whole, part of the body of a person or an animal or a plant has, in its own world, an entire metabolizing system. It has its own individual beings with jobs and to do lists in order to maintain its life. That cell is completely unaware that it is part of a whole. That cell, or even a leaf or a bug is its own circuitry of a life. If we slow down, if we look just a little closer we can see that there is an infinite world of being that happens just beyond our awareness.

Water droplet.

Water droplet.

The stars and galaxies move at their own timeless pace, they dance and collide and that dance lasts millions of years. Their lives last wildly longer than any human could ever wish to be around to see it play out. There is a whole world bigger than us and we are so limited in our minds and occupied with our own existence, that we forget. Our world extends infinitely upward into the universe, where stars are exploding into and out of being, spewing their rich guts outward into the space around them. Dust and rock and matter collide and collect and begin to orbit the larger pieces, each carrying its own gravitational pull and attracting to one another just as human beings do here on earth. A metaphor for our lives and yet we are blind to its steady truths. As those stars and astral beings live out their lives in a beautiful dance, we sit here, unaware of their timeless beauty and wonder why our lives seem so meaningless. But if we can slow down, if we look just a little closer we can see that there is an infinite world of being that happens just beyond our awareness.

jpl.nasa.gov

Cassiopeia A as captured by Hubble.

Outward from us a whole universe stretches, beyond our own lives where other beings walk around constantly and we collide with them but we never really know them. We live in our small personal universe where the full existence of another can’t possibly penetrate. Even the love of your life you only experience as a reflection of your own understanding of their life and the stories they’ll allow you to see. The idea we carry of another is so limited and shallow, only ever seeing their opinions and views, their outlook of this life in the light of how we would respond or absorb the happenings and goings on of our own world. The people you thought you knew the most are in reality exactly and only ever what they share with you, and even then it is only through the veil of our own understanding of the world that we see them. Remarkable. Ultimately, the people in our lives are but a mirror, reflecting back to us our own depth and grasp of this world. If we see others as shallow it is truly because we must be shallow, if we see others as unloving, it is truly because we must be unloving. But if we slow down, if we look just a little closer we can see that there is an infinite world of being in another that happens just beyond our awareness.

My love and I on Laguna Beach.

My love and I on Laguna Beach.

Sadly, the same applies to our own depths. We stay on this surface of our being, an infinite bath of never ending inward depth that we could never fully explore. Most people are afraid of what they’ll find. Most people are hurt or betrayed by their own thoughts and conclusions of themselves and others and life in general. I honor those who are willing to go on the introspective mission to know ones self. They are the brave souls that press forward even when it may sting. Insecurities are revealed and patterns are uncovered. What we do with that knowledge is where true courage shines. If we can radiate that authenticity even when it isn’t accepted, if we can fight for understanding and allow others to go on that journey with us, do we not live a fuller life? If we can slow down, if we look just a little closer we can see that there is an infinite world of being within ourselves that happens just beyond our awareness.

Introspection by Patrick Desmet

Introspection by Patrick Desmet

My respect lies with those who decide to understand this simple fact. Maybe we can never explore the entire universe, upward and downward, inward and outward, but damn if I won’t try. I’ll ask and ask and ask endlessly till my dying day. Seeking and searching for the knowledge I need to support my next step of understanding and growth. Stretching beyond my small bubble of view, reaching out into the void, constantly living on the frontier of discovery into a universe of which I crave to know every nook and cranny. I crave to know and interact with others that gather this same purpose of life. My soul longs to collide and dance with other beings who ask these questions too, who have this same insatiable lust for depth and discovery. I seek and search for those beings that are not afraid of the dark. Those loves that are willing to explore the scary unknown, of others, of themselves, of the world around them, sharing their findings all along the way. I crave to explore the inward and outward, the upward and downward of all that lies beyond our very small world view and perspectives. I long to live out of a higher dimension than most of this world seems to live. So I share, so I talk and talk and unfold that which lies before me. Unraveling the ball of mystery and wonder of this stunning and beloved universe. If we can slow down, if we look just a little closer we can see that there is an infinite world of being that happens just beyond our awareness.

Out beyond that tiny bubble of our everyday awareness there is so much love, so much connection. I’ll meet you there.

The Challenges of the Dream Pt.2

So we have been living in California for twenty days. Twenty beloved, beautiful, magical days! Getting here wasn’t easy. For years we believed in this impossible feat even when it didn’t look possible. Even when people on the outside looking in kept giggling because we had made the plan to go and then had to push it back…and then made the plan to go and had to push it back…again and again it kept falling through. Jesse and I fought and fought about when the right time to uproot from everything we knew and loved would be.  I’m the dreamer, I just wanted to go, I didn’t care what the details looked like or whether or not we had a place to go once we got there and Jesse (thank God!) is the pragmatic one who wanted a feasible plan. We argued about when the right time to make the trek across the country would be, after the holidays, before the next winter…do we travel during the spring or summer? Do we take the southern route or the northern route?

We made so many prepatory motions in order to facilitate this dream. Like downsizing our apartment and purging so many items in order to travel as light as possible. In my last post I shared about the biggest challenge in this move which was our finances, prepping and disciplining and changing behaviors that would keep us in a place where we wouldn’t be able to take this plunge. This wasn’t the only challenge though. As expected things kept popping up that would derail our plans. We are pretty darn stubborn though and by golly this was going to happen!


When we signed our lease with the apartment complex that we decided on we were unaware that a few days later they would call and tell us that the lady in our unit had decided to stay another month. What?!? Can you even do that?! Apparently so. We had already ended our current lease in Elkton and so we decided that we would make the trip anyway and ask the complex to put us up in a temporary unit. They did…this complex is by far the most amazing complex we have ever dealt with and are so blessed…the accommodations are more than anything I could ever expect and the people who run it have been more than amazing. Every concern and issue we’ve had they have jumped at the chance to resolve it. I am so grateful! A stark difference from the last few places we have resided.

The view right outside of our place.

The view right outside of our place. 

The moving company on the other hand was not so amazing. We opted to save as much money as we could but learned the hard way that you really do “get what you pay for” in this regard. At the beginning of this post I mentioned that we have been here for twenty days…well, we finally received our stuff from the moving company yesterday. YESTERDAY!!! Now granted, we are living in paradise, out of suitcases, but we have so much to be thankful for, like a washer and dryer in our unit that we don’t need quarters for, sunshine, a dishwasher (even though we didn’t have dishes there for a while…) but mostly just being here is a dream come true so a few (twenty) bad nights sleep couldn’t break us. We have already been through so much to get here…this little hiccup wasn’t going to get me down!! Until we realized that the movers wouldn’t actually move our stuff!! Unless we were willing to pay an extra $75. Seriously?! Welp, then haul our crap from the street side all the way up to our third floor apartment would be our workout for the day. And now we’ve got a bed!! We’ve got a bed and I’ve got my coffee press and all my art and jewelry making stuff and even clothes! It is amazing!

Finally got to make a cup of coffee in my pajamas!

Finally got to make a cup of coffee in my pajamas!

There have been so many things to come up against us in this whole endeavor, I couldn’t possibly name them all and some were more devastating than others (like, leaving my beloved community and best friends and momma and sister), but I don’t want to spend too many posts on all of those things. Mostly I just want to highlight the simple fact that this move was not easy in any way but when you want something, I mean really want something, with every cell in your being, there is nothing else but to do other than go after that with all your might! Not only that but as an idealist and an optimist through and through I believe with all my heart that YOU can have literally ANYTHING your heart desires. ANY ANY ANYTHING!!!

No, it is not simple to chase your dreams. That’s why the only people who can truly live them are the people brave enough to reach out and grab them. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable and face the idea that it may be unrealistic or learn how to discipline your behavior. You may have to face turbulent times or learn to let go of a place or people you adore. You may have to sleep on the floor, literally or figuratively for quite some time. Where I find the power to face these difficult things is in the tiny little moments of beauty and light along the way that hold together my world. My little routines and habits that keep my sanity and allow me to express my gratefulness for everything beautiful in my world. Waking up early with the sun and giving thanks for the things i DO have, like my health and my lover and my beautiful family. Saying thank you to the Universe for every single thing that I am grateful for every single day, which I personally believe activates the Law of Attraction in your life, allowing the best things to find you. And lastly, but most important of them all, setting an intention. Your intention is what moves your world. Intention dwells in the space between the stuff. It is the mystery, the nothingness, and we can activate that space. Most of the “stuff” that we interact with, the material matter of our world is actually empty space. The whole Universe from outer space down to the room your sitting in and even further down, all the way to the atom is mostly just empty space. What dwells there? Our intention! So activate that space with your hopes and dreams. Fill it with love and intention and start taking steps with those dreams in heart and mind and let me tell you, you will have no other choice but to meet your dreams. Live with purpose and activate your world. I read a silly meme once and I think it goes like this: Whether you believe you will or you believe you won’t…you are right! So, don’t just let life take you on its ride, decide to gently guide it to the place that you want to be. I believe in you!! I believe that you will go where you want to go. I believe that you will make it to where you want to be.

You got this! Peace from the West Coast!!

You got this! Peace from the West Coast!!

The Challenges of the Dream

We are finally on the road to California (okay, so we are here now since this was mostly drafted 20 days ago!)

It feels like a dream actually…we set this intention to move our lives to our favorite place to visit since long before I had ever even been here! The dream was born out of an escapist mindset I admit, my young “run away” mentality that was seated in fear and disguised as adventure but has since changed and evolved into the love seeking, life building “create the life you want” journey that we are on now. I’m actually so surprised at how well the trip is going. We’ve come up against challenge after challenge but press on we must. 

Our biggest challenge so far (and by “so far” I assumed that I would have this written before we actually got here and experienced a ton of OTHER challenges! Hahaha, doh!) has been our finances. Three years ago, after a trip to my home state of Colorado with my Momma, I was beginning to itch to see the world. I wanted  to meet new people and be exposed to new ideas. I wanted to see new ways of being that I believed would help in growing my mind and heart. For me, this is the meaning of life. Growth. Yes, you can grow anywhere but for me personally a pretty place connects me to the earth and ultimately, to my God. So, that’s where this intention started. I remember the day. I follow this beautiful yogini on Instagram, Rachael Brathen and she lives in Aruba. Yoga on an island every single day?! Holy hell, YES I want that!! And I just remember saying to myself, “why not me?!” Jesse, my husband is the practical one in the relationship and his simple answer was, “well, because we are in debt.” Hahah! It was true. We both grew up in poverty and had fallen into the credit card scheme as soon as we were able to sign a legal document as a way of alleviating the pressures of life. Out of that simple understanding, another intention was born…to get our finances straight, to live within our means and to stop spending unnecessary money on THINGS. 

Material items were my prison. For a very long time I had a server job where I would walk home with cash in hand every night. Naturally, the next day on the way to work I would find a reason to stop and spend what I had made the evening before, whether it was new make-up or a new dress for my shift, or even food out, it didn’t matter, I would find a way to blow the money. Ironically, I couldn’t afford the rent I owed or the payments to anything I needed to maintain my lifestyle…but who cares! My nails were done and I had every THING I wanted.

The illusion was that being able to buy what I wanted when I wanted was my freedom but the truth was quite a different discovery. Material items didn’t make me a better person, they didn’t make me cooler or more accepted by my friends, they didn’t give me love or fulfill my heart in any way. My new clothes or car didn’t hold or comfort my heart or grow my mind. Even though it felt like that at the time and I received quite a “high” from this behavior. I realized that I had quite an unhealthy attachment to stuff. So, Jesse made a spreadsheet of our outgoing money and our incoming money and we have been following it ever since. The simple lesson I have learned in that spreadsheet is that through discipline we find freedom. It was hard. Like really fucking hard. I’m a spender. I fight boredom by walking around in stores filled with pretty things. I like to surround myself with those pretty things and where once I was purchasing them every single day, I have learned how to curb my behavior and change my thinking. I started spending my time outside in nature, spending time with family and filling my time with things that fill up my heart instead. Spending unnecessary money was a habit that died so hard. I can’t tell you all the days and nights of rationalizing my emotions. Especially since right around this time I had also quit my job to pursue my true purpose which I hadn’t even discovered yet. I just knew it wasn’t sitting in the bottom of my closet crying because I didn’t have a new outfit for date night. That was not the person I wanted to be in this world, it was not the person I wanted to portray or the being I wanted to emanate. In fact, it was quite frankly, embarrassing!

In order to have this dream come true, or any of my dreams for that matter, this behavior had to die. And so it did. With the endless help of my loving and supportive husband who is always willing to be my sharp edge, we learned a new way. A way that would put us on a path to be able to manage our finances in a way that we didn’t feel like we were drowning all the time. We were willing to set an intention and live by it. We were willing to grind and grind, our beings and each other and our patterns and behaviors every single day, etching out this life from the formless stone that we were born as until we are a stunning sculpture of the life and relationship we have always wanted.

It was never easy. It will never be easy. Having the life of your dreams does not just happen, you have to be willing to go against the grain and believe when every one else giggles at your attempts. Finances was not the only challenge in this journey to our dream of living in California, and it won’t be the last one we face. You get the life you deserve. What you are willing to actively put into life, you will get back. People always make off handed comments about how lucky we are with the “why not me” tone in their voice, not only in this move but also when I quit my job to pursue my purpose and at a million other amazing things that we have been able to enjoy along the way and I always politely nod my head and speak of how grateful I am for everything this life has offered. But the truth is it was never easy, and the reality is that those people were’t there when we sat and cried together Jesse and I, or when we dreamed together and those people were’t willing to put the intention and good energy out there in spite of the challenges of any of these dreams. You get the life you deserve. It may sound harsh but it is true, what you are willing to put in you will get back. And THAT is the key, that I am willing. We are willing, to face whatever obstacles come at us in this beloved journey of life, receiving with open hands whatever the Universe has to offer us always and moving with intention and grace. Grateful of every every single thing. Just living in itself is a blessing to honor. So start there. Then watch as the rest starts to fall into place. You can have the life of your dreams!! You can have it!! It can be done. No matter what it is, what you want is right there in front of you, waiting for you to have the bravery to reach out and grab it.

Value Authenticity

A note to your younger self

I saw this as I was scrolling through the internet and immediately it impressed me. What would I say to my younger self? I think it would obviously be different based on the time in my life when the question was asked for sure but for now, and maybe mostly because it is extremely relevant to my here and now…I would say,

“Amanda my dear, value authenticity.”

Okay so that is technically five words but you know what I mean. Ugh! If only I had learned this earlier in life. But that was not my journey, for me it has been a long and arduous process of even understanding what authenticity looks like. Being authentic means being true to you.

Lately, everywhere I turn someone is giving me their input and advice for my life. “You should do online classes,” “You should record your yoga classes and sell them,” “You should make custom jewelry orders for people,” “You should live here or there when you get to California,” and so on. When you are on the cusp of a huge adventure like this, uprooting your whole life, the life you’ve spent all your years to craft and create to move across the country, people want to share in it with you. It is bold, it is brave and people want to help. Not only do they want to share their own experience but simply enough they are going to miss you and want to stay connected. They want you to be successful, they want to see you go out into the world and do well. It is endearing and so so cherished and it is also a bit overwhelming. 

As a Libra through and through I have this built in urge to make everyone happy. The practice for me is brushing up against that comfort zone and advocating for myself and my own dreams. What do I want? I have to keep remembering to be authentic to myself and the deeply rooted passions and purpose for my own life journey. I have to remember that I have a message to share with the world and getting it out there will only work if I can follow my own path to make it happen. No other person in this world has lived inside my mind and heart other than myself, no other person knows how to effectively activate my soul to accomplish such hearty dreams. I think that if anyone knows best how to handle the upcoming challenges of this adventure it is my own self. And this goes hand in hand with the idea that we are our own god. We create our own reality and we are the magic of forward motion in our own life goals and dreams.

Lands End, northern California

Lands End, northern California

Of course I am open to every single suggestion and every input. People have so much experience and I want to know every single tip and trick that can be shared! I just don’t want to feel overwhelmed with this idea that every suggestion needs to be fulfilled. There is just no way we can please everyone. I can see so clearly that these suggestions, although unintended are meant to fill a want or desire of the person saying them. This person thinks I should live in this little town but that is for them, for their dream, where they want to live one day. Maybe that town isn’t a bike ride from the Pacific ocean (an absolute must for me), or maybe it isn’t within the price range we have in mind that will allow me to maintain my dream of being unemployed by an establishment. 

That person wants a custom piece of jewelry but I know that I just don’t work well like that. The jewelry I create is for the outlet of everything inside of me…it is an urge to create, to impress the world with my own imprint…I mean I have to share it because I love to share beauty in any way and I want people to have a piece of my art of course but the act of creating a piece of art, whatever it may be is never really for the public, it is for the artist. If I start the custom order thing, even just for the challenge and to learn, then that will take over my art (because of the type of people pleaser that I am at heart) and there will be no room for creating my own ideas and exploring the medium. I can also see how this could be a fear holding me back but truly I have no desire to create custom jewelry for people so no…it is not a fear holding me back.

Everyone wants me to get my yoga up online for classes and connection and while that makes my heart swell so big with acceptance and love it also scares me. Although this is an actual dream of mine and I am working on the foundational steps to be able to launch the idea, it just is not ripe yet. I don’t want to rush to get a shotty version of what I do have in mind up just because I am moving in under a month and people will have to find new yoga classes to attend or new routines to establish. That is not my concern. I like working with people in the flesh. I like to connect to people in real life, looking into their eyes and having conversations and seeing their face respond. I like teaching a physical practice to physical bodies in a physical space…how can I succeed in those things in California with the beautiful souls there too if I am worried about editing a video for the good souls back east? It is just not true to me at the moment. I have been in this place teaching yoga for the past two years and if these people aren’t making the effort to be in class for the short amount of time that I have left here then why would I stress about technology and my lack of fluidity with it to make the effort to put up an online class? Especially when my own practice is getting shuffled around because of all the other obligations popping up around every corner. It just would not be fair to myself. I love these people to beautiful vibrant life and their presence and support in my life is completely irreplaceable but the truth is, I just cannot make everyone happy. 

“Are you willing to put personal integrity above a promise to another? Are you willing to be authentic even if it means being vulnerable?” -Rhonda Britten

Whatever it is, do I have the awareness to see those things coming at me? Can I have the grace to take them in stride for what they are, a kind gesture of love and support without feeling overwhelmed and obligated to meet every one of those expectations? Can I make myself happy and allow that brightness to draw people together, ultimately being the catalyst for their dreams and my own? Can I root down into the being that I am naturally and learn to manipulate the inputs and outputs to facilitate the being that I want to be? I guess we shall see…it is a life practice.

So, my dear Amanda, value authenticity.

What would your note be to your younger self?