Thanks for stopping by

This blog post was just sent to me today from a pal and how wonderful it is. Life gets messy, heartache sucks, we have wins and losses and confusing, uncomfortable parts in between.

And it’s so hard to get lost in that in-between.

Lost in your thoughts, your worth, your place in this world – especially when you thought you had it all figured out…and then you get a nice, sharp slap in the face to remind you that oh my darlin’, nothing is controllable and constant in this lifetime but change itself.

Great reminder of your worth, of my worth, and what uniquely cool creatures we all are. Friends, lovers, family members – anyone who lets you and your beautiful, wild, crazy soul go is simply out of their mind.

But the key? Being grateful that even if you weren’t here to stay, I’m happy the universe allowed your soul to stop by.

Re-blogged from elephantjournal.com

“He may still love you. He probably does. He probably doesn’t know what he wants. He probably still thinks about you all the time. But that isn’t what matters. What matters is what he’s doing about it, and what he’s doing about it is nothing. And if he’s doing nothing, you most certainly shouldn’t do anything. You need someone who goes out of their way to make it obvious that they want you in their life.” ~ Anonymous

My beautiful sweet woman—I know that you love him, but please know that any man who says goodbye to you is out of his mind. I know that it’s tempting to sit in patient waiting, wishing on falling stars and believing that maybe the timing just wasn’t right—or that maybe this lost man just needs to figure out things before he can be with you—but those sweet smelling lies only make us feel better. They don’t actually help to fix the reality of the situation.

He left you or you left him. Perhaps without reason or notice, but nevertheless he is gone from the place that you had held on reserve for him in your life.

You are a glorious, wild woman who breathes meaning into even the most skeptical of hearts, and while I know that it’s tempting to be the martyr and not give up on this man—the truth is he’s never asked you to wait.  He isn’t off to war fighting valiant battles, knowing in the end he will return to you, because he hasn’t given you any reason to hold onto his memory tighter than he ever tried to hold onto you.

If he was the man for you, darlin’—he would still be here. But he’s not.

He might be out of his mind—or maybe he just doesn’t know who he is, and therefore has no real idea of what he wants. But regardless of the reason, he is not the man for you.

You are simply incredible—not when you are dressed to set the town on fire in elegance, but when you wake up with the constellations of dreams still blurry in your eyes. You are breathtaking as you look out at the fresh new tangerine sunrise, knowing that there isn’t anything that can get between you and the ambitions that beat as fierce as your courageous heart.

You are wonderful, simply because of the woman you are, and the man who truly wants to walk beside you in this life won’t ever let you go.

Don’t buy into the philosophy that love has to be hard, or that we owe it to the men we love to never give up on them, even when they have already forgotten the way we kissed them so sweetly.

Love is real, and it does exist, but it has to be a two way street. Both parties have to be willing to meet each other half way on that journey as well.

I’m not doubting his love for you, because there isn’t any way that a man could grow that close to you and not love you—but feeling love and the action of love are two different things.

And you my glorious goddess, deserve a warrior who would go to the ends of the earth, bending time and space in half if it meant just one more moment of having you in his arms. Not a love that makes you second guess what will happen even tomorrow.

It’s easy to say that just because “it’s not working out now” doesn’t mean that it won’t work out a week or month from now—but my beautiful soul, just because you were born with a deep faith in all that you hold dear, doesn’t mean that it will come to fruition either.

Sometimes you just have to accept that if a man can actually walk away from you—then he’s not the one who deserves to be by your side.

The worst torture you can inflict upon yourself is to think that somehow this man’s leaving is a reflection of the woman you are or your precious worth.

My beautiful fierce woman, not everyone can stand next to the sun and endure its warms rays—and not every man can handle having a woman who is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

This man leaving you is merely a reflection of his own sense of self-worth, because the thing is, no matter how hard you ever loved him, you could never show him how much he deserved you, when he hadn’t yet learned to love himself.

Because no matter what you did—or even continually do—that is a lesson that he has to learn for himself through the bittersweet trenches of solitude.

And when he does—he just may come back.

He may finally realize what a mistake he has made, because now he sees that all other women just pale in comparison to you—that he lost the sun while chasing the shadows of his passing fancies.

But by then my dear, it will be too late.

Because you will have a new man—a man who never makes you question his feelings or intentions. A man who kisses your fingertips and holds your heart in the way that lets you know he sees you—not just for the swing of your hair or your crazy ways —but for the soul that you are.

A man who—no matter how complicated or difficult it was or how bad the timing was—has never left. Someone who stays and works through things with you.

A man who meets you halfway, because he knows that no matter what uphill battles he might have to fight to be by your side, it’s worth it—because it means getting to see your charming lashes flutter as you fall asleep against his chest at the end of a long day.

Because this man knew all along, that any man who said goodbye to you is out of his mind—and he’s determined to not be like all the rest.

Thank you elephantjournal and thank you friend for this reminder.

And to all the lucky lovers in my life who get this special, rich love, that have the one who would never walk away – hold them tight and savor the sweetness.

For now I shall be grateful that even if you weren’t here to stay, I’m happy the universe allowed you to stop by.

As I am forever changed for good.

The greatest love story of all?

After being at one of the greatest and most beautiful weddings I have ever been a part of this past weekend I was fortunate to see, remember and experience how wonderful love truly is.

As humans, and especially as women, we naturally place a huge emphasis on romantic love. The love with your partner, that one true soul your insides always search for and hope for, and if you’re lucky enough, actually get to have. The love that shakes you. The love that keeps you moving and breathing, the love that makes you high. That love really is the best love, and one of the most important loves we all long for. But sometimes we forget about another great kind of love.

I love love. And for me, I feel like every moment, experience, struggle and success in my life has brought me here, and allowed me to become the person I was always meant to be – a lover.

But sometimes that sure romantic love we know and feel and get to have doesn’t end up the way we thought it would. It’s confusing, and weird and uncomfortable. And it sucks. When it feels like love isn’t enough, it just doesn’t make sense. Because every bone and belief in your body tells you it should be. So what’s next? And what’s left?

Well…if you’re lucky enough…maybe what truly is the greatest love of all is still around you.

The love you have with your friends.

You know, those friends.

The friend that jumps on a plane and helps you put your life back together when it’s come undone at the seams.

The person who is instantly at your side and shows up wherever you are – even when you don’t ask.

A person who leaves you bacon, cards and coffee at your desk – just because.

The wonderful soul who offers their house, their couch, clothes, a homemade meal  – whatever you may need, the minute things go wrong.

The long distance friend who tears up the second you hug when you’re reunited and chokes up the minute you say goodbye (yep, straight out of a movie kind of moment). 

Or the one who offers you vodka when you’re sick. Then impersonates creepy animals in the hopes of getting you to crack a smile.

The friend who texts you pictures of their adorable child doing silly things, sends loving care packages, the list goes on.

If you’re lucky enough to have friends like this, friends like mine, then you are truly blessed. And when everything is going wrong, remember this love.

Friends that remind you of your guts and your worth.

Friends that stand you back up when you fall and help you fly on the way down.

Maybe the greatest love stories we’ll ever experience in our life are the ones with our friends.

And that’s pretty cool.

 

The Problem? That I Don’t Want To Get Over You

Read this post today and it’s like the words came right out of my own mouth and thoughts directly from within my own heart…

Re-blogged from an Elephant Journal article by Kate Ross: 

romance

“The ones who love you will never leave you. Even if there are a hundred reasons to give up, they will find the one reason to hold on.” ~Unknown

Letting go is a choice—but it’s not one that I want to make.

Sometimes someone crosses our path who makes us realize life won’t ever be the same again.

It’s not necessarily because life suddenly becomes perfect—but because all others pale in comparison.

The best love affairs are those that change us without changing our essence.

That special someone becomes the compass to keep us pointed due north—and suddenly we know, no matter what life brings us—we’ll never be lost again.

Even when life shows us every reason we should give up—we just can’t find that part of us who actually wants to walk away.

It’s those moments that our soul takes over and keeps us somewhere because the story just isn’t finished yet.

Sometimes the ending of a chapter can seem like the whole damn book is done—but no love story is great because things were easy.

No, the greatest love stories are those that faced turmoil—the ones where life was stacked against them, but they persevered anyway.

It’s not giving up hope even when it seems like the easiest choice.

Because love isn’t about choosing the easy way out—but making the choice to do it the hard way, even when all seems lost.

Because the truth is, there are some people we just won’t ever get over.

Sometimes we find someone so special that we don’t want to walk away—pretending that none of it happened—sometimes someone leaves an imprint on our lives, and we’ll never forget.

We know that no matter what life may bring, or who it may bring—no one will ever be able to fill that space.

It’s okay to not give up—to refuse to get over someone.

Maybe we don’t really have a choice in it at all—because there really are certain people who are meant to be in our lives.

And even when the going gets tough—we just can’t give up on them.

Because this time, I just don’t want to get over you.

While others could look at me and call me foolish—I don’t see any other way to be.

Because if I actually believe everything I feel—how could I possibly just walk away?

If I believe in the pull of the moon on the tides—then how could I ignore the signs the universe has sent?

And maybe I will be forced to move on—not by my own choice, but because sometimes things in life have a funny way of not working out.

But, at least I will know that I stayed true—not only to the words inside of my head, but the feelings inside of my heart.

That is what not giving up is about.

It’s not so much about the other person—but instead the journey of learning to trust ourselves.

Our own intuition.

Our own heart.

And if we then can honor those—then we can honor the other person and their journey.

 When I think about why I don’t want to get over you—it’s not because of things you’ve done for me or physical acts I can measure—but because of how you make me feel.

And I have lived long enough to know—there are people who only come around once in a lifetime.

Sometimes I’ve resented being the one who is the constant—the cool and steady hand.

I also know that is the way it is meant to be.

Because you needed to see that I wouldn’t give up on you—no matter how far you pushed me away.

But because I needed to be tested to see just how much I want this—and how ready I actually am.

It’s been a tangled journey of a thousand secrets, too many promises—and not enough action.

I have to admit that I tried to move on—I tried to fill your place with other things, maybe other people.

And so when we come back into each other’s lives—I’m never really surprised.

Because what I’ve come to believe is that when it’s real—it stays.

And whether it’s a problem, or gift—that’s precisely why I don’t want to get over you.

You’ve said that you hope you taught me as much as I’ve taught you—and you have.

But maybe the biggest lesson you’ve taught me—sometimes someone can come into our lives and we will never be the same again.

Because the thing is, I don’t want to imagine my life without you.

So I sit underneath a darkened sky wishing on stars and the seeds of dandelions that maybe someday it will all make sense.

That maybe someday you will decide that you don’t want to say goodbye to me.

And at that point the only thing left to say will be hello—and with it a new start to get it right.

5 Tips for Wanderlusting the Grand Canyon

Adventure #1 of 7 has been completed! Well wow. This blog post sure took me long enough to write. It’s already been 2 whole months since I was fortunate enough to journey and explore the mile deep views of the Grand Canyon (looks like it’s safe to say we know who won’t be getting the “most timely-blogger-of-the-year” award).

People roam from near and far to travel and tour one of the most beautiful places on earth. A stunning desert disaster, a beautiful mess of all sorts, a wondrous space of both catastrophe and loss, beauty born from rubble, a light created from the dark.  Yes my friends, the one and only Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon 2

The ever so wise Rumi says that “life is a constant struggle of giving and taking. Of holding on and letting go” and I suppose that’s exactly what awaits each traveler and passerby that wanders and roves into this majestic landscape. According to our good ol friend Mr. Dictionary, Arizona’s Grand Canyon is a natural formation gorged by the Colorado River, distinguished by its layered bands of red rock and its vast scale, averaging 10 miles across and a mile deep along its 277-mile length.

Woah, that’s one crazy gorged rock formation. For so long I had only heard about the Grand Canyon and saw pictures of it, learned of families and friends traveling and hiking it – always wanting to experience it for myself. And wow am I glad I did! (insert hoots and hollers and a round of applause).

When going on a trip it is both habit and necessary to pack suitcases of everything we want to bring with us while traveling – what we want to wear, enjoy and experience while on our trip. But in a way – these same suitcases full of our belongings and preparation become the same very thing that preserves the memories we bring back home with us after every journey we embark on.

Suitcases 2

Suitcases full of memories, moments, smells, tastes – they all continue to remain inside us. Suitcases from the road and suitcases from ourselves. Suitcases of our best moments and our worst. Suitcases of the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. When I went to the Grand Canyon I was lucky enough to wander and rove with a friend, and I am grateful that we got to build a suitcase of moments and memories together, of course never realizing that at the time. I mean do we ever realize we’re creating a moment we’re going to look back on and remember and be grateful for? Rarely. And that is such a shame.

Now while I’m usually not a big believer in pre-planning any big adventure (ironic given what my job is) or trip one is going on, I did realize and appreciate there were some tips and tricks I wish I would’ve known in advance before embarking on this journey that would have led to an even greater experience. So here you go party people – 5 tips for you to be able to wanderlust like hell through the Grand Canyon.

Tip #1

Just go.

It’s that simple folks.

Have a map – but be cool with tossing it out the window. Or veering away from it. Or completely ignoring it and following your own way. We can only plan so much. And sometimes right when we think we’re just about to hit that one moment we’ve been striving for – and that one place we’ve been moving towards and driving to and following the path on, boom. The car stops, the road turns unexpectedly, life smacks you around a bit, crumbles in front of you and you’re just left looking at the rubble thinking, wow. How did I get here? And what do I do next? I’ll tell you what you do. You. Freaking. Move.

The only thing we can control in life is ourselves, nothing more and nothing else. While yes we may have the best intentions in place for the future and vacations and journeys and trips and the best life goals we may have ever dreamed of – sometimes life doesn’t work like that. And when I say sometimes, I mean most times. And sometimes that can even be a good thing (like wayyyyyy later down the road, like way later down the road when you’re cool with the fact your life didn’t go as planned). Life likes to surprise us – to add some twists and turns and bumps along the way to see if we’re paying attention + to remind us of what we’re really made of. To see what kind of guts we have and tug on the heart strings we need to pull on.

In life, on the road, at a crossroads, whatever. Don’t over-think it. Just move, put one foot in front of the other – and go. I didn’t have anything booked before I left San Diego for the 8 hour ride ahead of me to Arizona (to the woe of my travel companion. Thanks for being flexible!). Yep that’s right, no campsite booked (tent camping only obvi!), no pit-stops marked, no excursions or hikes or bikes or donkey rides, no nothing was planned. I. Just. Went. If I would’ve waited until every little detail was planned out and perfect and ready and waiting for me – who knows when I would’ve actually taken this adventure, if ever. I chose a date, packed and drove. It’s that simple peeps. So many wasted moments are spent on over analyzing, over-thinking and over-evaluating. We become paralyzed in fear and then hesitate to take the most grandest moments we have available to us because we got stuck, and caught, and stopped. So just go. Wherever it is – or whatever it is. Just. Go. Do it. Right now.

Tip #2

Spend less on things + more on experiences.

Your time, your money, your energy, your whatever. I’m sure most people on their death beds don’t look back and wish they had more things in their lifetime, they most likely wish they had more time. More time with those they love, in places they adore. Be as simple and minimal as possible.

Adopting this mindset will allow you to be able to do some crazy and awesome and scary and memorable things that you will look back and be SO GLAD you did! Spending less on things and more on experiences in the Grand Canyon for me meant a helicopter ride and a guided sunset tour. Two things that may not be that big of a deal to you, but let me tell you, two things that absolutely took my breath away.

Grand Canyon 3

 

 

 

 

Grand Canyon 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                             (Pic above of the actual helicopter we took, I did not take this picture though)

I am a talker – a big talker. And I was pretty speechless during each of these spectacular moments.A famous Grand Canyon sunset and a helicopter ride over the gorge? Yes. Please! The  helicopter played classic rock as we came upon our first big view of the Canyon from up above and I’ll never forget that moment – how I felt, what it looked like, everything. It was like time stood still in that moment. I don’t remember what I was wearing, or what I had in my lap and with me – I remember how I felt.

In simultaneously being able to reduce the amount of crap and junk I would’ve brought on this trip, and clutter I have in my house, and life/etc. I was able to enjoy some once-in-a-lifetime experiences instead – making memories to last a lifetime with a friend and seeing the world through a whole new lens.

Less stuff, more experiences. Period.

Tip #3

Get uncomfortable.

And stay there. This for sure is a personal challenge to me because I want instant gratification to feel better and fix and happify the second I or anyone around me is feeling anything anything short of stellar. Don’t.

Instead, wallow in it, and breathe through it because it won’t last forever. Nothing does. The good or the bad, remember that, nothing lasts forever.

If you’re usually pretty spontaneous – then get a little ridged. If you like a good solid plan and some certainty in your day – take a wild leap of faith in trusting that everything could work out and jump into the unknown. And hey what’s the worst that could happen? Sure you may not have a place to stay and may get trampled by an Elk (no seriously, that’s the worst thing that can happen when you don’t book a campsite in advance at the Grand Canyon and you have to go claim a spot in big, open land) – but would you survive? Hopefully. And if not? Well then I guess you just met life’s exit strategy for you. And what a cool way to go! You were eaten by an elk on a girls camping trip in the Grand Canyon? Sorry mom!

Be spontaneous. Say yes. Jump in. Try it. Be down with the weirdness. Not your routine, your style, your way?

That’s cool, do it anyway – in life or in a desert. Get uncomfortable and stay there.

Tip #4

Collect as you go.

(Ok I know this seems like an oxy moron to #2 above but just go with it, metaphorically speaking people)

Photos, memories, moments, places, people, things, mints, souvenirs. Everything. Talk to strangers, ask questions. Learn, learn learn. And listen. You’ll be richer for it. In anything in life – we of course try to remember what we saw and did, but more often than not – we vividly remember how we felt. And how we made others feel. Bring a journal, write, draw, capture, collect, remember. And remember to collect the present too. Put down the phone and pick up your eyes (guilty!).

On the helicopter tour there was an old man sitting next to me, I’m talking like Grandpa status old-man. And guess what? He had an old-school video camera with a vhs tape in it – recording the entire thing. And he didn’t stop. Not once. Maybe the video wasn’t for himself or maybe it was – but regardless, love that no matter the age we all want to remember it all. To take it all in. I guess no matter what that will never stop and I really dig that.

Our minds and our bodies and everything will start to go and fade away the older we get. So maybe we collect things in a desperate attempt to hold on and keep things close. No matter the reason or the rhyme or the why – just collect. Everything. All the time. Because one day you will look back at it and even the smallest, stupidest most minor thing will be able to bring you the biggest sense of joy. Collect things while you can and while your mind will remember them.

Tip #5

Act in the light.

Because man oh man, it’s going to get dark, fast.

Just like any good actor or model knows – you want to be in the light. And while camping this rule is very important. Do as much as you can while it’s bright – dance, cook, setup the tent (no seriously, doing it with headlamps on for the first time assembly of a new tent is no beuno), take pictures, spend time with those you love and try to extend it as long as possible.

Why?

Because the darkness will come – but you can be ready for it.

Do as much as you can while it’s light – set up your tent, organize your wood, prepare your food, secure clean water, hug those you love before they pass, be grateful for laughter and silliness, you get my drift.

Enjoy it all before things go dark so you are ready to be fierce and brave and conquer the shadows.

In conclusion…

Well there you have it – my insanely valuable words of wisdom on 5 tips for how to accurately navigate both the Grand and Life Canyons that we all continue to experience in this lifetime.

Did you think you’d read about actual trails to hike, excursions to book, places to stay and food to eat? Well yes, I probably would think that too. And I could’ve written about that, but decided not to because I didn’t need to.

You see, if you pay attention – and you truly notice and listen you will understand that life is constantly teaching us about two things at once.

Both the actual experience we’re currently in (yes the bad ones too), but also the overall, greater plan. The big stuff – the good stuff. The stuff that life is really made of.

In the end, aren’t we really all just on this same kind of Grand Canyon adventure I went on, in our own lives, everyday?

Trying to navigate which path is the right one of the options we’re presented, who to pick up along the way, who to keep walking by, and which way to go.

Until we get to the place we’re meant to be, may we wander and roam and do everything in between.

Grand Canyon 5

Time to Rove

Since I’m not quite yet at a place where the words are-a-flowin easily and I’m ready and able to start writing about what these past few months have felt like I decided what I am ready for is to listen to the one thing that has been calling me since the start of this life transition. The one thing that made sense amongst the chaos, that I knew would bring me peace and ultimately mean something in my greater plan that I have yet to realize.

I am being called to the road. 

download

To move, travel, explore, adventure – here and there and everywhere. Until I get the words, my voice, some music and a dance back in my heart I shall journey and fumble and move along to help find and collect anything that may have gone missing recently, the pieces and parts of me that have been temporarily lost along the way, and get them back.

You may think I want to travel to escape, and maybe a part of that is true, but couldn’t it also be true that travel isn’t really escaping life, but it rather is allowing life not to escape us? Ponder that shiot.

I had an “aha” moment last night and today I woke up knowing what I had to do. I hear ya world! And I shall listen to your call! Challenge accepted.

For the rest of this year, the next 7 months, I will be embarking on one adventure a month. 7 adventures in 7 months. I shall go to the unknown, alone or with a friend, get lost, maybe get found, do something sporty, or beachy, intense, relaxing – whatever it may be – I have this beautiful west coast right at my fingertips and there’s no time like the present to see what’s out there. Instead of saying “I’ve always wanted to go there!” I will be able to start responding with “Wow, I recently went there and it’s fill in the blank

Kicking off my first journey in June. Where will I go? What do you think? Any guesses, suggestions? Some destinations will most likely end up being bucket list desires, others just random wishes of places I’ve only heard stories about and some may be totally spontaneous – a car, a bag, a weekend, and a drive, that’s all I’ll need.

Nature as my hotel room and the road as my guide – I shall journey out into the great unknown.

I’m not sure what it will feel like when I leave or who I will be when I return, but this is literally the one thing that has been present in my heart since all of life’s shenanigans have gone down, so I will let it rise and I will act on it, instead of just pushing it down and going about with my mundane and routine life.

You know, all of us get calls like this. You, me, everyone, and most of us, we push it down. We ignore it, we think it will go away, and tell ourselves all of the reasons why we can’t do it – financially, the time, energy, etc. – it will cost us. Well what if we start thinking of all the reasons why we can do it instead? And more importantly, why we need to do it. That one thing you’ve wanted to do for awhile, that keeps popping back up inside your brain – DO IT. Now. Today. Right now, start making a plan to do it. Whatever it is. It’s speaking to you for a reason – pick up the phone and answer the call.

Maybe these adventures will lead me to a place and a piece of me that I could have never imagined, or maybe they wont. But I will never know unless I start moving and driving and exploring.

Maybe the road holds my story and will be the writer of this blog for the next 7 months.

Maybe the wind in my hair and new faces and moments and experiences are what this crazy gyspy soul of mine has been craving, and wanting.

Either way. I’m ready.

It’s time to let the wandering begin.

Wanderlust11x14

You’re Doing Better Than You Think

One of the wisest people I know sent this to me last night and it’s just too great not to share.

We all can be so hard on ourselves sometimes. At times we can forget that a bad day, moment or experience is not the same thing as a bad life. You are here and thriving and doing amazing things – even if it only consisted of going to work and picking up takeout for dinner. Think of all the tiny little accomplishments in life that allowed you to get to work and be able to afford that dinner.

So here’s your little reminder for the day. You are doing great exactly the way you are.

download

Re-blogged from thoughtcatalog.com

20 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think Are

 

  1. You paid the bills this month, and maybe even had extra to spend on non-necessities. It doesn’t matter how much you belabored the checks as they went out, the point is that they did, and you figured it out regardless.
  2. You question yourself. You doubt your life. You feel miserable some days. This means you’re still open to growth. This means you can be objective and self-aware. The best people go home at the end of the day and think: “or… maybe there’s another way.”
  3. You have a job. For however many hours, at whatever rate, you are earning money that helps you eat something, sleep on something, wear something every day. It’s not failure if it doesn’t look the way you thought it would – you’re valuing your independence and taking responsibility for yourself.
  4. You have time to do something you enjoy. Even if “what you enjoy” is sitting on the couch and ordering dinner and watching Netflix.
  5. You are not worried about where your next meal is coming from. There’s food in the fridge or pantry, and you have enough to actually pick and choose what you want to eat.
  6. You can eat because you enjoy it. It’s not a matter of sheer survival.
  7. You have one or two truly close friends. People worry about the quantity but eventually tend to realize the number of people you can claim to be in your tribe has no bearing on how much you feel intimacy, acceptance, community, or joy. At the end of the day, all we really want are a few close people who know us (and love us) no matter what.
  8. You could afford a subway ride, cup of coffee, or the gas in your car this morning. The smallest conveniences (and oftentimes, necessities) are not variables for you.
  9. You’re not the same person you were a year ago. You’re learning, and evolving, and can identify the ways in which you’ve changed for better and worse.
  10. You have the time and means to do things beyond the bare minimum. You’ve maybe been to a concert in the last few years, you buy books for yourself, you could take a day trip to a neighboring city if you wanted – you don’t have to work all hours of the day to survive.
  11. You have a selection of clothing at your disposal. You aren’t worried about having a hat or gloves in a blizzard, you have cool clothes for the summer and something to wear to a wedding. You not only can shield and decorate your body, but can do so appropriately for a variety of circumstances.
  12. You can sense what isn’t right in your life. The first and most crucial step is simply being aware. Being able to communicate to yourself: “something is not right, even though I am not yet sure what would feel better.”
  13. If you could talk to your younger self, you would be able so say: “We did it, we made it out, we survived that terrible thing.” So often people carry their past traumas into their present lives, and if you want any proof that we carry who we were in who we are, all you need to do is see how you respond to your inner child hearing, you’re going to be okay, from the person they became.
  14. You have a space of your own. It doesn’t even have to be a home or apartment (but that’s great if it is). All you need is a room, a corner, a desk, where you can create or rest at your discretion; where you govern who gets to be part of your weird little world, and to what capacity. It’s one of the few controls we can actually exert.
  15. You’ve lost relationships. More important than the fact that you’ve simply had them in the first place is that you or your former partner chose not to settle. You opened yourself to the possibility of something else being out there.
  16. You’re interested in something. Whether it’s now how to live a happier life, maintain better relationships, reading or movies or sex or society or the axis on which the world spins, something intrigues you to explore it.
  17. You know how to take care of yourself. You know how many hours of sleep you need to feel okay the next day, who to turn to when you’re heartbroken, what you have fun doing, what to do when you don’t feel well, etc.
  18. You’re working toward a goal. Even if you’re exhausted and it feels miles away, you have a dream for yourself, however vague and malleable.
  19. But you’re not uncompromisingly set on anything for your future. Some of the happiest and best adjusted people are the ones who can make any situation an ideal, who are too immersed in the moment to intricately plan and decidedly commit to any one specific outcome.
  20. You’ve been through some crap. You can look at challenges you currently face and compare them to ones you thought you’d never get over. You can reassure yourself through your own experience. Life did not get easier, you got smarter

And when all else fails – just give yourself a good slap.

Sometimes that will snap you out of it and remind you how much you rock.

Take It or Leave It

Today right before sunset I went on a walk with the dog, and little did I know that today’s walk would end up being one of the coolest ones I’ve been on in awhile.

I went a different way tonight, a longer path, up and down hills I never go on, and ended up at this un-official, friendly dog park. I walked up to the top corner of the park to get the best view of the sun on it’s descent for the day – when something caught my eye.

It was this cute little box on a post. And when I got closer, and could see what it read, it instantly made me smile.

Little Library 1

Yes you’re seeing this right. A little free library. Take a book, leave a book. What was this? Was it really what I thought it was? How did I not know about it? Is this a thing? In my own neighborhood nonetheless?

Yes, it’s a thing. A pretty big thing actually. And it’s called a Little Free Library.

Take a book, leave a book. What a wonderful concept. Strangers getting connected by something so powerful and wonderful – the gift of reading. The gift of something that can completely take you away to another place. The gift of something that enriches your life and colors your imagination. The gift of a good book.

And it’s from a stranger. A stranger that you’re now connected to. A Little Free Library is a way for people to come together again.

You see this little box is so much more than a library. After immediately getting on my phone to Google what the heck I had discovered I learned that this is a movement, and a cool one at that.

It all started in 2009 when a Wisconsin man built a little school house (as a tribute to his mother who was a teacher that loved to read), filled it with books, and placed it in his front yard with a sign that said “Free Books”. One little library turned into thousands of them, each one built from recycled materials with the theme of exchanging good books while bringing people together for something positive.

Community + connection. I. Was. Stoked.

Little Library 3

By the end of 2014 there were 15,000 little free libraries in the U.S. Wow – promoting literacy, and the love of reading by exchanging free books with strangers. How cool is this.

So here I am. Excited beyond belief, wanting so badly to take a book (but knowing I must wait until I can come back to gift one in exchange) and just feeling proud and happy.

Proud that there are still good people out there doing great things, and bringing people together, and making a difference. And happy that I was now a part of it.

Sometimes we may lose our footing a little, or lose pieces of ourselves. A job title, a friendship, a memory, a moment. There are always endings to our beginnings. Becoming separated  is just a part of life, whether we like it or not. And it may not be easy to say goodbye, you may not be ready for it, or want it, or understand it.

But then we get the hello’s. An open door, an invite to join something new. We may not see experiences and moments like this – but there they are.  Waiting for us. Ready for us.

It’s the yin to the yang. The push to the pull. The give to the take.

Something may end, but something could also begin. My front yard may or may not be housing a Free Little Library in the very near future , but if you’re local in SD, and want to see this cool little treasure for yourself, wander up to 2550 Fairfield Street.  You’ll be glad you did.

Give and take. Push and pull. Pick up a free book and get connected my people.

Little Library 5

Keepin’ It Real For Another Year

Holy canoli it’s almost the end of January and it’s already 2015! My oh my where has the time gone. It was almost Thanksgiving, then Christmas was around the corner, now it’s a new year.

images Here I am back at work – a bit frazzled, a lil chubbier (whoopsie) and just wondering  what the heck happened these past few  months. And what the heck happened to my  cute, wrinkle free face lol. And my hair. (No really, it looks like this cats).

I remember thinking that I  wanted my first post of 2015 to  be really powerful, you know, to be something really great. I kept  thinking of all the different  themes I could attach my writing to for the year: 30 day challenges (ie: no dairy, or no complaining….eek), showing inspiring stories of strength and courageousness (because holy hell I continue to be impressed from those around me) or maybe some good books to read, blogs to follow, places to travel to, recipes to try cooking – you get the drift. I wanted to be profound! I should say something important. Something great!

n-UNINTENTIONALLY-PROFOUND-large570

Well crap, I got nothin’. I kept trying to fit this blog and my thoughts and my voice into a theme. But that felt un-natural. And so I never started. I was like the chick in the movie who’s sitting at a vintage typewriter with crumpled paper all around her, in a super cute extra large sweater and leggings and dark rimmed glasses, chewing on her pencil, barely being able to type the first few words (minus the typewriter, and the paper, and the nice mahogony desk lol. Just a girl staring at her computer. Crap, minus the cute outfit too. But you know what I’m talking about. Why are girl writers in movies so cool?!).

This isn’t a food blog. Or a yoga blog. Or an inspirational blog. Or maybe it is, or maybe it’s a little of all of that. What I don’t want is for this to be something that is regimented and predictable and routine. What I do want is for this to be natural, and fun and random and weird.

When I was little I loved writing. Notes, poems, music, journals  (maybe some notes here and there that got me into trouble) – whatever. I figured I’d never get a job as a writer (just being realistic here folks) so I decided the next best thing was to start a blog. And holy crap I did it, and that was 3 years ago!

hayden_shocked_face_resized

 

I think I started peaceloveandhippiness for 2 reasons: 1, to prove to myself that I could do it. I mean let’s be honest, we all say we’re going to do stuff and never really do. I do this ALL the time. And 2, that maybe one day, in a place deep down, that something I wrote would strike a cord with you. It would speak to you. It would help you, or frustrate you, or make you think differently or just put a smile on your face.

So I guess that’s what this blog has kinda turned into. It’s real, and gutsy, maybe heart wrenching, thought-provoking, potentially inspiring and hopefully relatable. But most importantly, I’m shooting for real. There’s enough phoney crap in this world already isn’t there? Let’s be real my homies.

So I hope you enjoy the ride of yet another year on my writing journey! My hope is you find and store even the smallest little treasure from my words in a suitcase within your soul, where every and anything that matters, is kept.

It’s 2015 baby and I feel alive. (name that show). 

Ps – Like what you see? And read? Then share my blog with your peeps! The more followers the merrier🙂

 

8-Ounce Strength

We’re so used to hearing that we need to keep so many things in our lives strong.

Our minds, our bank accounts, the relationships we’re in, the bodies we walk around with and our general attitude toward life. While all of those things are important in some way or another, the most critical thing to keep strong?

Your heart.

It guides you, carries you, forgives, remembers, holds grudges, beats for others and most importantly, beats for you.

Get anything that’s messily living within your heart – out. Let it go.

Something that’s not serving you, a person who doesn’t deserve you, a bad day, crap moment, bad look or negative thought. Let it go – all of it.

Happiness isn’t the absence of problems, but rather the strength to deal with them. 

You probably don’t even realize it but most, if not all, of the decisions you make on a daily basis are done so by your heart. Think about that.

Your heart is constantly guiding you and speaking to you. It literally is a part of your entire day. All the time. So take care of it you jerk! (just kidding, you’re not a jerk)

Keep your heart strong and your head up. And keep on keepin’ on.

(Oh and just so we’re all clear – huge fan of this dude and this song)

 

7 Steps to Overcoming Your Post Vacation Blues

Yes. This is a thing. Trust me – and read on.

One minute you’re laughing and sunning on the beach, drink in hand, friends to your right, sand to your left (or insert your own recent fabulous vacation that all your friends would be jealous of) and then boom – you don’t know where you are or how you got here, or what happened, but you’re home. Or worse – back at work/your desk/insert something bad here. And reality sets in..the party is officially over…

You are sad, irritated, tired and feel a bit out of it. You feel blue and you can’t shake it. Why do you feel like this? You just had so much fun! Don’t worry – you have a case of PVB – post vacation blues (good god, what did you think it stood for?) and this is totally normal. Thankfully there are a  few things you can do to help remedy this sour mood you’re in (unless of course you can just hop back on a plane and get back to your exciting weekend trip immediately. Then by all means, please do that).

But for those of us less fortunate souls who cannot hop back on a plane we must deal with these said blues and move on. The first step in getting through it is noticing your symptoms and taking action fast.

A huge, tall, banana-hand man I once knew would always say we need to “participate in our own rescue”. And folks he may be right (I can’t believe I just said that). Here are some things I’m trying to do that may be of help to you as well.

1. Be aware. You may have no appetite at all or you may be ordering XL sizes of everything in sight – of course you want fries with that! You may feel restless, irritated, angry, tired. You may wear two mis-matched socks to work (because you surely didn’t do anything that required socks this weekend) or forget that you have to put on jeans instead of a bathing suit. Yes, that actually happens. You may just have an overall feeling of being blue. What is going on? Why do you feel crazy? Don’t worry. Calm down. Deep breaths – you’re suffering from the PVB’s. Don’t be scurred – just be aware.

2. You are not alone. Everyone else you were with either had or will have a bit of a meltdown post-trip. You may think that sending around the funny photos on a group text will make you feel worse or looking at the FB photos (that you look super cute and tan it btw) will just remind you of how happy you were when you were there and how bluesey you are now that you’re home – but you’re wrong. It will put a smile on your face, on all of your faces actually. No one comes back from a great trip happy and ready to be back. Everyone gets a case of the PVB’s. You are not alone. This is totally normal.

3. Schedule something fun or new. Haircut, dinner date with friends, a massage, a mini day trip to go visit someone or something you haven’t seen in awhile – anything to take your mind off of your PVB. This is called distraction and it can be highly effective. Whoever says doing this is bad for you or that you’re “avoiding” dealing with the blues, is wrong. They obviously haven’t experienced PVB and clearly don’t know the extent of how funny your friends are.

4. Enjoy the memories. And remember these memories. Send out some group follow up emails sharing the stories, or shoot someone a text saying how great the trip was, or remind someone you were with how much you loved being by their side. Make a photo album (dont be a rookie – crop out any unflattering stomach shots), or a journal, or just something that can hold all the love and laughter and wonderful beautiful moments you had in a tiny little suitcase within your heart that will stay with you forever. While the trip and the moments may be over – the memories are still within you. As well as any bad decisions you made, and all the booze and fattening food you’re definitely now regretting indulging in. Those are still within you too. You can only blame yourself for those things, really.

5. Plan your next trip. Immediately. Now. Forget work your first day back (they survived just fine without you while you were gone didn’t they?) and focus on where and what you’re going to do next. Trust me. This helps. Just do it.

6. Feel bad for yourself. I know, I know, you can’t believe I’m encouraging this (and quite honestly I can’t either) – but it’s important to wallow sometimes. To not make yourself perk up and snap out of it. It was great, but it’s over (wah wah). And it’s never fun when the party is over. Eat that huge pizza, drink that bottle of wine. You’re suffering from PVB for christ sakes!

7. Be grateful. At the end of the day – be grateful you were able to travel, and experience, and love and see and give joy. But more so – be grateful you have a case of the PVB’s. You saw, you experienced and you thoroughly enjoyed yourself. There are so many beautiful things in this life to be grateful for – and in some weird way, PVB is one of them.

So welcome home. Go outside and breath in the clean air. Go on a walk. Put some fresh flowers in your house. Sleep well. Eat and nourish yourself with a purpose. Snuggle with a dog. Hug someone you love.

Don’t worry – you won’t be blue forever.

You’ll get through the PVB’s- right in time for the next trip you’ll go on🙂

Note: We at Peace, Love & Hippiness highly encourage you to reference this post any time after returning home from a trip. PVB is a lifelong disease that is brought on by fun, girlfriends, new cities and culture. It can happen multiple times a year if you’re not careful. Recognizing the symptoms in advance and acting upon them immediately is important for your recovery back into society. 

Things To Remember When Everything Goes Wrong

Sometimes when something tragic and really, really awful happens, it can seem like you’re caught in a storm with no hope of it ending. Like just one rolling wave of sh*t, day in, day out. You may have glimpses of reprive when you smile, enjoy a moment or even a laugh – but then it’s back. Another wrong turn, sucky day, failure, didn’t work out, dead end moment that you just keep thinking “really?!” Like it’s never ending. The sh*t on top of the poop. Yep, I said it.

And what’s the last thing you want to hear, do, see or be during those times? Positivity. Trust me, it’s annoying when someone tries to fix what’s wrong in your world (guilty!), but we all do it because we care, and because we see the end for you, on your behalf – and maybe it’s our job to remind you.

Every middle has an end. Every storm has sunshine – everything is temporary. Yes it may pour even harder when it’s already raining, and really, truly test guts you may not have even know existed within you – but it will end. It always does.

Nothing lasts forever – the good or the bad.

If I’ve learned anything during my 30+ years on this planet (eek!) it’s just that. The beautiful life that I have today truly is a testament to the saying that everything must fall apart in order for it to fall together. Every mistake, horrible and tragic thing that has happened to me has led me to exactly where I was meant to be. Everything I had to overcome – led me to this. To the now. To the best life I could have imagined.

I came across this post today that is just too good not to share. A friend once gave me a magnet that I still look at daily on my fridge – when you’re going through hell, keep going. Yep. The only way out is through, for reals.

You are brave. You are tough. You will conquer this – you really, already have.

You’re allowed to be weak. Be helpless. Be stuck. You are in this.

And that’s ok. Be any and all of it. You’re halfway there.

It’s all part of the greater plan. The hardships, and the falls, and the fails all slowly start to build together the greatness. The battles create the good – the light and the lifelong joy that is waiting for you. You were meant for something greater than you could ever imagine.

Re-blogged from Marc & Angel Hack Life (one of my faves)

8 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong

8 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong

“The best way out is always through.”
―Robert Frost

“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one. Up until now I have had no health problems. I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”

That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 9/16/1977. I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago. It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.

Here are a few reminders to help motivate you when you need it most:

1. Pain is part of growing.

Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there. Good things take time. Stay patient and stay positive. Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

2. Everything in life is temporary.

Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you get hurt, you heal. After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever. It won’t. Nothing lasts forever.

So if things are good right now, enjoy it. It won’t last forever. If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either. Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh. Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending. You get a second chance, every second. You just have to take it and make the best of it.

3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing.

Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it. If you believe in something, keep trying. Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future. Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Take action instead. Let what you’ve learned improve how you live. Make a change and never look back.

And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

4. Your scars are symbols of your strength.

Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward. A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of. Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.

Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars. See your scars as a sign of “YES! I MADE IT! I survived and I have my scars to prove it! And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”

5. Every little struggle is a step forward.

In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it. So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way. Otherwise, there’s no point in starting. This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion. It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end. It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills. It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar. It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers. It could mean lots of time alone in solitude. Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible. It gives you the space you need. Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it.

And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds. And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine. You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path. And it’s worth it. So if you’re going to try, go all the way. There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE.

6. Other people’s negativity is not your problem.

Be positive when negativity surrounds you. Smile when others try to bring you down. It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you. They do things because of them.

Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it. So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think. If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it. Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible.

All jokes aside, your life only comes around once. This is IT. So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.

7. What’s meant to be will eventually, BE.

True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE.

In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey. You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.

8. The best thing you can do is to keep going.

Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.

Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.

Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list:

  1. Think positively.
  2. Eat healthy.
  3. Exercise today.
  4. Worry less.
  5. Work hard.
  6. Laugh often.
  7. Sleep well.

Repeat…

You can do this.

You will do this.

You’re already there.

And that is so admirable.

All Aboard!

You know what feels good? Packing. Not your life, your office or your house. Sometimes those things can be sad. I’m talking about a trip you’re going on – a trip you want to go on. Not a sad trip, a “have to” trip. A fun, can’t wait, is-it-here-yet trip. You know those kinds of trips. It’s the kind we all want every trip to be.

The feel-good kind of packing you don’t even realize you’re doing. The kind where every item you’re packing you’re imagining how and when and where you’ll use it. How you’ll wear this hat, what night you’ll wear this dress, what day you may want to finally put on this crazy bikini. That kind of packing. When you haven’t even arrived yet you know just how blissful it will be, kind of packing.

And ’tis life. . .

As I pack tonight for a trip (the fun kind!) I am instantly finding myself brought to moments and experiences and smells and tastes I haven’t even experienced yet. Fact – we associate things to moments, and our brain has an actual triggered response to things – all things. Clothes, songs, food, streets, cities, people – the works. I know we all know this, but it’s crazy how we sometimes don’t listen to it, or ignore it, or just don’t really care about it. Our brain instantly ties something in front of us to a past experience. Good or bad or whatever. We have a response to everything.

I literally got SO excited tonight packing for a trip. The intoxicating feeling you get when you picture yourself there. The cone to the ice cream sundae, the heels to the outfit, the signed paperwork to the newly bought house – as soon as that part’s done – you’re there. You’re in it. You feel it. You’re ready for it. You want it.

To me – these moments fall into buckets…or maybe it’s more like suitcases.

We put our thoughts and our memories and our hopes and our dreams into a suitcase. Sometimes to be opened at a later date – or maybe to be peeked into once in awhile, or maybe to be broken open and looked into today. Our “everything” seems to be kept in a suitcase.

Some may call this the obvious baggage. I prefer to consider it as a special box of treasures. Magical treasures that have helped make you and your life what it is.

The good, the uncomfortable, the highs, the awfuls, the greats – we bring these things in our suitcases around with us everywhere we go, all the time. Most days, without even realizing it.

These suitcases make us some days, and are hardly a part of us others.

They hold the people we miss so much we want to scream and cry for. They hold the songs and the silly moments and distant memories that will forever be held in our hearts. They hold the moments we had strength and are proud of. They hold the moments we failed, the moments we fell. They hold it all – and they are held in our heart.

The point? I’m not sure. My point? I want to hold on to my suitcases. And keep them shut tight. To preserve the beautiful moments, the awful chaos, the failures – the rises and falls. The everything.

Maybe my suitcases define me. Maybe they don’t. They are potentially hilarious to some, and mortifying to others.

Whatever the case – I am bringing them with me. Wherever I wander and wherever I wind up.

My suitcases tell a story so I better be damn sure they’re a part of my ride.

Who’s joining me?! Grab yours and get on this crazy train.

Live Your Way

Some days my mornings start out with a scramble to get ready and a dash out the front door to get to work on time. Some days my mornings start out with some tea, music and a dog walk. Today my morning started out with some blog reading and smoothy sippin, in which I must share.

Someone recently told me that they ‘felt bad’ every time we told stories and reminisced on my past, who I used to be: a wild, rebellious, mouthy, stubborn, risky, rule-breaking girl who was constantly in trouble (no seriously, all.the.time. constantly in trouble). They didn’t like that we talked about those times, or those moments. They were embarrassed for me that I was sharing and laughing at my own ridiculous stories that are sometimes hard to believe.

My response? “But that was me.” And that’s true.  I had to remind them that I didn’t want to have a past like anyone else, and that I didn’t want to “fit in” or “be normal” like everyone else. I am who I am today because of who I was yesterday, and last year, and 10 years ago. I am me and that’s all I know – flaws and all. My own authentic self.

This morning I stumbled across this lovely post and I caught myself re-reading some of the entries, stopping, thinking, and then re-reading it again. A few of these really resonated with me so maybe they’ll do the same with you. Sometimes I think that the key to learning and loving and enjoying life is by passing on the good that you encounter to those around you – so enjoy!

Re-blogged from Marc & Angel Hack Life

18 Reasons to Give Up Trying to Live Up to Everyone’s Expectations

18 Reasons to Give Up Trying to Live Up to Everyone’s Expectations

A life spent ceaselessly trying to please people who are perhaps incapable of ever being pleased, or trying too hard to always be seen as doing “what’s expected of you,” is a sure road to a regretful existence.  Angel and I were on this road once, but I’m happy to say we’re paving our own path now based on our own needs, morals and values.  And today I hope to inspire you to do the same…

Do more than just exist.  We all exist.  The question is: Do you live?

Angel and I eventually realized existing without ever truly living was not what we wanted for ourselves.  So we made changes – we gradually embraced all the points discussed in this article and never looked back.  If you are in the same place we once were – seeking approval from everyone for every little thing you do – please take this post to heart and start making changes today.  Life is too short not to.

  1. First and foremost, you are not obligated to live up to everyone’s expectations. – Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.  And you are under no obligation to give others what they expect.  Period.  Do things because you care.  Do things because you know it’s right.  Don’t just do things because everyone else expects you to.
  2. Expectations just get in the way of great life experiences. – Don’t let expectations (especially other people’s expectations) get in your way.  Truth be told, the unexpected is often better than the expected.  Our entire lives can be described in one sentence: It didn’t go as planned, and that’s OK.
  3. You don’t need others to hold your hand every step of the way. – Be willing to go alone sometimes.  You don’t need permission to grow.  Not everyone who started with you will finish with you.  And that’s OK.
  4. You get to learn from your mistakes without unnecessary third-party pressure. – You’re going to mess up sometimes.  But the good news is, as long as you’re listening to your intuition, you get to decide how you’re going to mess up.  Which means you get to decide how you’re going to live and what you’re going to learn along the way.
  5. No one knows you better than you know yourself. – How you seem to others and how you actually are, rarely match.  Even if they get the basic gist of who you are, they’re still missing a big piece of the puzzle.  What other people think of you will rarely contain the whole truth, which is fine.  So if someone forms an opinion of you based on superficialities, then it’s up to them, not you, to reform those opinions.  Leave it to them to worry about.  You know who you are and what’s best for you.
  6. Only YOU can define what’s possible for you and your life. – Some people will kill you over time if you let them; and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases like, “Be realistic.”  When this happens, close your ears and listen to your inner voice instead.  Remember that real success in life isn’t what others see, but how you feel.  It’s living your truth and doing what makes you feel alive.
  7. In the end, happiness is simply living your life your own way.– There comes a time when your back is up against the wall and you realize all you can do is say, “Screw it, I’m doing things my way!”  That’s the earth-shattering moment you stop planning for someone else’s expectations, and start making progress on what’s truly important to YOU.  That’s when you begin to live life according to your own morals and values.  That’s when you can finally be at your happiest.
  8. You can best serve yourself and others by giving yourself what YOU need. – Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and pursue it at all costs.  That’s what this world needs – people like YOU who come alive.  Which means your needs matter; so don’t ignore them.  Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you and your life, not just what seems best on the surface for everyone else.
  9. Rather than being confined by opinions, you get to create your own reality. – If J.K. Rowling stopped after being rejected by multiple publishers for years, there would be no Harry Potter.  If Howard Schultz gave up after being turned down by banks 200+ times, there would be no Starbucks.  If Walt Disney quit too soon after his theme park concept was trashed by 300+ investors, there would be no Disney World.  One thing is for sure: If you give too much power to the opinions of others, you will become their prisoner.  So never let someone’s opinion define your reality.  (Read Daring Greatly.)
  10. You allow yourself the freedom to speak your truth. – Yes, speak your truth even if your voice shakes.  Be cordial and reasonable, of course, but don’t tread carefully on every word you say.  Push your concerns of what others might think aside.  Let the consequences of doing so unravel naturally.  What you’ll find is that most of the time no one will be offended or irritated at all.  And if they do get upset, it’s likely only because you’ve started behaving in a way that makes them feel they have less power over you.  Think about it.  Why lie?
  11. The wrong people won’t be able to tamper with your standards. – Remember, failed relationships aren’t designed to encourage you to lower your standards, but to raise them and keep them up.  So while you’re out there making decisions instead of excuses, learning new things, and getting closer and closer to your goals, know that there are others out there, like me, who admire your efforts and are striving for greatness too.   Bottom line: Don’t let the wrong people bring you down.
  12. The haters will have less of an effect on you. – Don’t worry about the haters, ever.  Don’t let them get to you.  They’re just upset because the truth you know contradicts the lies they live.  Period.
  13. Your individuality can be openly celebrated and enjoyed. – Constantly seeking approval means you’re perpetually worried that others are forming negative judgments of you.  This steals the fun, ingenuity, and spontaneity from your life.  Flip the switch on this habit.  If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t be ashamed and don’t change.  Uniqueness is priceless.  In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your remarkable self.  It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but it’s worth it.  Being unapologetically YOU is worth it!
  14. There will be less drama to deal with. – Forgo the drama.  Ignore the negativity around you.  Just be sincere and kind, and promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.
  15. You will have more time to socialize with the right people. –When you’re feeling insecure, you typically don’t notice the hundreds of people around you who accept you just the way you are.  All you notice are the few who don’t.  Don’t ever forget your worth.  Spend time with those who value you.  No matter how good you are to people, there will always be negative minds out there who criticize you.  Smile, ignore them, and carry on.  You might feel unwanted and unworthy to one person, but you are priceless to another.
  16. Great relationships are not governed by one-sided expectations. – When it comes to your relationships, don’t keep everything you need to say to yourself.  Let it out.  Express your point of view.  Communication is not just an important part of a relationship, communication is the relationship.  Communicate even when it’s uncomfortable and uneasy.  One of the best ways to heal and grow a relationship is simply getting everything on the inside out in the open.  Compromise.  That’s how good people make great things happen together.
  17. You get to be YOUR best, without competing with everyone else. – When you are happy to simply do your best and not compare or compete, everyone worth your while will respect you.  Here’s some healthy food for thought:  Always… Be strong, but not rude.  Be kind, but not weak.  Be humble, but not timid.  Be proud, but not arrogant.  Be bold, but not a bully.
  18. You are not obligated to anyone more so than you are to yourself. – Your relationship with yourself is the closest and most important relationship you will ever have.  So don’t forget about YOU out there, and don’t be too hard on yourself either.  There are plenty of others willing to do both for you.  And remember, if you don’t take good care of yourself, then you can’t take good care of others either; which is why taking care of yourself is the best selfish thing you can do.

Shut up and Salsa

When I get bored I find things to do, or make. I’m not usually one of those people (and when I say “one of those people” I don’t mean that negatively, I really wish I was one of those people) that can lounge on the couch for hours and zone out watching tv or take a nap or just chill. I’ve come to realize I am not a “chiller” (contrary to belief).

So naturally I do sometimes get bored while camping, or shall I say glamping (because let’s be honest, the kind of camping I’ve been doing lately is just scratching the surface of roughing it, and truly camping). And I digress…

What’s one to do when they’re bored while glamping? Open up the cupboards (told you I was glamping), search for food like some hungry savage, and if you don’t find anything that meets your pallets needs – create it yourself. Hence, my homemade salsa attempt. Who knew that this would be one of the many recipes I’ve made up myself and attempted that didn’t fail. Winning!

So I started out with some fresh produce from the local farmers market (someday I shall write on the interesting characters at that joint, quite the entertainment), minimal seasoning and a glass of wine. Use more or less veggies – the possibilities of your new favorite salsa are endless!

Naturally, wine makes everything better. Sometimes you just gotta wine a little (get it?) Hehe.

Tomatoes, mangos, green onions, lemons and limes.
Tomatoes, mangos, green onions, lemons and limes.

Chop it all up. Sip some wine.

I like it chunky - chop as you like
I like it chunky – chop as you like

Salsa 3

Add some olive oil, salt, pepper, squeeze the fresh lemon and lime – and let it sit. Be sure to get back on that wine during this downtime.

I only chilled it for an hour (only because I couldn’t keep my hungry little hands off of it). The flavors mix together and it starts to take the look and shape of real, authentic salsa. Look at you kid!

Salsa 4     Salsa 5

Add some sliced avocado (duh), dip in a chip and enjoy! And at this point you should obvi just finish the bottle of wine.

Yep. I served the above in styrofoam. And yes, this is obviously not the most complex recipe to make. But it was easy and fun and delicious and it cured my boredom. Plus you know it’s all natural and there’s no extra weird stuff in it (aka – those weird ingredients on labels that are just fillers).

So…what to do next. . .

Give In

For the past two days I have been craving something. Something bad. Yet something good. Thinking about it, obsessing and picturing it, smelling it, dreaming of it – the works. I freaking wanted it.

All I did was tell myself the reasons why I shouldn’t give in. Why I shouldn’t succumb to this really awful thing (this is me telling myself  it’s really awful), whatever. And then I stopped. I thought about the implications, said f*ck it, and gave in.

I took myself to the bar (alone) and ordered a nice, fattening, extra crispy bacon covered, messy, bubbly cheese falling everywhere, greasy, mustardly juicy –  burger. And 2 huge beers. And fries. With ranch. Obvi.

Yes. I did the unthinkable – I ordered a huge burger (insert gasps from the crowd). And I f*cking loved it.

Did you hear me? I gave in to this suuuuuuuuper awful thing (not really), and I liked it. WOW. What a concept.

Now I know what you’re thinking – I made the biggest deal out of telling myself how bad and awful this was for me, which seems silly, because it was only just a burger.

But it’s not really about the burger is it?

We all must do this ALL the time. We probably don’t even realize it. We hold back, we over-think, we don’t give in, we don’t indulge. Why? Because we’re scared. (You got it, I was scared this one little burger would make me fat. Of course all the beer I drink and pizza I eat on other days wont. Nope. Just this burger. Totally rational.)

Once I gave in, and slightly made love to this juicy burger (oh yes, things got weird), I couldn’t remember any of the reasons why I shouldn’t enjoy this wonderful thing – and instead all of the reasons why I should.

I felt a calling to this burger (I’m serious. The burger really wanted me to eat it) and I answered said calling. I hopped on my bike, rode down the street, indulged a little, and went to bed a happy lil camper. Was my belly fuller than normal? Yes. Was this considered bad food that we shouldn’t put into our bodies? Yes. Was it the end of the world that I ate it and enjoyed it and was SO satisfied after? No. Absolutely. Not.

That’s the key. I was satisfied.

Holding back isn’t always good. Unless we’re talking heroin or something here – then yes, please hold back. But everything else – if it won’t kill you – go on and get it.

And this holds true to anything. Get yourself some satisfaction.

Don’t ignore the desire or the craving, indulge in it.

I love you, i’m sorry, i miss you, forgive me, i’m happy, i’m sad, i’m something, get me out, help me. All of it. Be it. Embrace it.

Say what you think, speak what you mean.

And just eat the damn burger.

What You Need

Ever walk into something thinking you’ll get one thing – and then to your silly surprise, you get something else? Well this was me at a yoga class last night. I wanted a peaceful, relaxing, take my mind off of everything kind of yoga class and instead got a passionate, energetic and extremely powerful class that was set to a guitar, symbols, drum set and some elegantly simple singing – yes, I got me some live music. Now if you know me – you know that I am often easily excited at the possibility of hearing live music. (Similar to my love of sitting outside at restaurants, or in a booth. My ultimate happy places).  Something about it just lights me up inside – or maybe beyond that – it calls and speaks to something inside of me I wasn’t even aware existed. So last night I was stoked, it wasn’t the class I wanted, but it was something better. Nothing but live music in my face with the undertone of yogis deep in and out breaths. It was simply one of the most beautiful things I have ever been a part of. I know that probably sounds a bit crazy and corny but it’s true, it was this hour long moment that I know I’ll never forget.

And it got me to thinking (you knew this was coming…)

Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want – because you need something else.

And more times than not, what you need oftentimes actually comes when you’re not looking for it.

So maybe we’re suppose to look at things in a different way.

More so like, all we have is all we need.

And then what we really need is to remember how blessed each of us are. I mean we’re here, we’re in this life, and we get to experience it and be a part of it. The good and the bad and the ugly and the beautiful. We have been lucky enough to be a part of this.

Instead of focusing on not getting what you need or what you want – focus on what you have. For maybe that is all you need. Right now at least.

And hell if that doesn’t work, throw in a little fantasy to survive your reality, whatever works.

But we just have to remember – what you need is coming. It may not be here now, or not even on the horizon, but it will arrive when you no longer are wanting it.

So in the meantime keep on keepin’ on. And things will fall into place exactly how they’re suppose to.

Oprah image

 

Risky Business

You know the old saying, “No risk, no reward” – well I never actually believed that’s how things worked. I mean I’ve taken a few risks in my day (okay, a lot maybe – sorry mom) but I guess I would fail to see the reward, or the lesson. I’d always see those people who did something really crazy and then months later you’d see this huge opportunity just fall into their lap – but does it really? Wasn’t their huge risk the part of their life that pushed that reward up in front of their face? I mean technically speaking, did it really “fall” into their lap? Or did they go get it.

We all know the story – the guy (or replace with your friend, sister, co-worker, enemy) who quit their job in corporate america making umteen million dollars a year to start a new business selling his dream product (that you may have thought was seriously so stupid) who is now happier than ever and again, making umteen million dollars a year. Like come on – that doesn’t really happen does it?

Well it did. Sort of. To me. (Not the umteen million dollars part though – I’d wear much better clothes if it did). Keep reading.

So as you know I quit my job last year in the spring (go me!) without having another job, or opportunity, or income, or insurance or blah blah blah – you get the point. I quit my job and it was scary, and stupid and risky…or was it?

I have a new job now – and you know what’s nuts, I have learned you can actually like your job. And even possibly love your job and the higher ups and your co-workers, and you get the drift. Holy crap you can like your job! (Discovery of the day)

And how did I realize I enjoy where I work?

I’m not going home every night talking my poor man’s ear off about how this happened, and then that happened, and then she said this to me (I mean I’m still talking his ear off of course, just not about negative work crap). No longer is my mentality while I’m at work or in meetings or at events to “survive”. I mean come on – that is like the most obvious tell-tale sign that it’s time to go. You’re trying to just survive? It’s time to leave my friend.

I catch myself saying ‘yes’ to things before I even think about what it would entail. Do you know what I used to be like? I would have to envision the entire situation playing out and all the possible ways and times I may possibly be thrown under the bus or set up to fail before I would even fathom responding, let alone responding with a quick yes!

Now don’t get me wrong – of course there are days where I am not all shiny with rainbows and ribbons in my hair – those days happen too. Those are called Mondays. But really, honest to gosh, for the most part – I am happy at my work. I like being here, I enjoy working with (not for) my boss (whom I absolutely adore) and I truly don’t want to let anyone down at work.

Say whaaaa?

I know what you’re thinking – who gives a shit that she likes her job.If you don’t like your job – you pretty much hate me right now (it’s okay, I would’ve too) and even if you somewhat like your job, you may be thinking – yeah so what? Get to the point you crazy hippie.

Well here’s my point.

NONE of this would have happened if I hadn’t been risky, or fearless, or stupid, or careless – or whatever you want to call it. Everything in life has a domino effect, the good, the bad, the ugly – every action has a reaction. Me standing still did nothing for me.

According to the very wise Subway (not really), this is the month of “JanYOUany” and I couldn’t agree more.

It’s the start of 2014 and it’s time to get ballsy. Yep. I said it. BALLS. It’s time YOU get some.

images(not this kind)

We all have them – we just have to remember to use them! (what an awful saying though, seriously) Do something scary NOW. Not tomorrow – not in a week, not when you set the date. Now.

Hop on that stand up paddleboard for the first time to prove to yourself that not only can you do it – but holy crap you’re actually good at it! Speak up for yourself. Quit your job. Make a big move that terrifies you. Breakup if you’re not happy. Really, actually start to take care of your body. Find one thing every day that brings you ultimate happiness and remind yourself of how happy it makes you feel – and friggin do it! More than once.

It’s 2014 and I’m sure your Facebook news feed is inundated with everyone’s New Years Resolutions (and food porn…and baby pictures) – but we all know they don’t last. (btw why is that?) For whatever annoying reason it’s so damn hard to stick to them. So choose one thing – and do it. Jump. Fall. Tug on those balls and grit your teeth and do something that seriously freaks you out.

Get. Freaking. Risky.Because we only get those few opportunities to do something crazy. Before you know it – boom – the moment is gone, and we’re back to our mundane, old-regular life (which is good too of course! Normal is nice).

So what was the point of this? Who freaking knows.

I suppose in the end I’m writing this to myself. To remember that me being risky earned me big rewards. Huge rewards.

And don’t tell anyone, but it makes me want to try to figure out what risky thing I shall do next😉

iC5ga