Category: Inspiration

live from the level of the soul

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“Learn to knock on the door of your own being. This is what is known as intuition, creativity, vision, and prophesy….

If we could learn to live from the level of the soul, we would see that the best most luminous parts of ourselves is connected to all the rhythms of the universe. We would truly know ourselves as the miracle-makers we are capable of being.”

~Deepak Chopra

Living Groundless + Pursuing Passion

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There are a million ways to live this life, billions of decisions we make from the time we are born to the time we die that shape our world and reality.  If we only have one shot at it, I constantly ask myself, am I making the most of it? How am I choosing to live this one unique and exceptional life?  I’ve always been an advocate for following dreams and pursuing passions over adopting the traditional socially accepted life. Then I suddenly found myself caught up in it. Forcing myself to believe that this was the time in my life to get “serious”, I talked myself into thinking that responsibility meant an 8-5 and putting my appetite for creative living aside. I watched myself warp into a new and unfamiliar world, appreciating the perks of steadiness, routine and schedule but watching my work life balance suffer and energy deplete. Yoga, my anchor and truest connection to myself, was practically non-existent. I went from practicing 5 days a week and teaching to a weekend practitioner whose body was sore after a Hatha class. My mind-body intelligence began to deteriorate. My connection to intuition was still pulsing lightly but I didn’t have the energy to listen to it. Most days I felt just enough stamina at the end of the day to get something active in, eat dinner and go to sleep. As much as I love and thrive off community, I found myself with little to contribute and more eager to spend my time alone.

Plain and simple I was tired.

Tired of fighting the idea that I needed to grow up and out of my ideas of what adult life should look like. Tired of thinking there was only a few routes to take and that I needed to be on one of them. Tired of not following my path when I know damn well what fuels and inspires me.

I was exhausted from feeling inauthentic to my needs.  So I gave in and leaned into trust.

And here’s the thing I’ve realized… we believe we have tomorrow. We assure ourselves that eventually, we will be in the position to attain what we really want. We feel secure in our jobs, relationships, mortgages and material possession.  We find comfort in the fact that our bank account reads sufficient, we have a great looking resume and a place to rest our head at night.  We feel sheltered and shielded from the harsh realities other people face, but lack the ideation that it could just as easily be us.

We are groundless and we need to start living like it. Nothing in this world can cease suffering. Nothing will block aging (sorry botox) and sickness and death.  Nothing will give us security no matter how hard we try. If we all realized how utterly precious this gift called LIFE is,  maybe we wouldn’t be so hesitant to act on our dreams? Maybe our individual human story would read a little differently? Sure, maybe you can act tomorrow. But maybe you can’t.

Do it now.

Howard Thurman, an influential philosopher, educator and civil rights leader said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  His famous words are a mantra to my next chapter and I hope a source of inspiration that move you closer towards living groundless, present and in full gratitude. – mahalo nui xo

Escape to the North Cascades // A Return to Reality

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This photo describes my mentality this past 4th of July weekend.  This was the bridge between civilization and wilderness. While most were planning parties centered around beer, food and fireworks, I wanted to say ‘peace out’ to society and get lost in the grandeur of the mountains.  My wish was granted as Thursday after work, I immediately turned my phone off and relaxed in the passenger seat as Jared and I drove north towards to the Cascades.

What followed was three days of no scheduled bliss. We were on nature’s agenda,  relinquishing the thought that anything needed to get accomplished.   In that space of stepping away from expectations and culture, I took a step back into myself.  With no real contact to the outside world, no social media to share photos, no distractions really of any kind, I had a beautiful opportunity to be present, which I find increasingly difficult in our fast paced, overly connected world.

It’s been a difficult transition back to reality and responsibility even if I only “checked out” for 72 hours. Maybe because in the vastness of the great outdoors, I started asking myself bigger and boundless questions.

Stepping deep into nature, I am not crowded with preceptions of how life should be lived.  I’m not bombarded with conflicting ideas and not concerned with society standards.  I don’t care how I am perceived (obviously after spending 3 days of not showering/shaving my legs) and my overactive judgmental brain turns off while my creative musings turn on. I am stimulated by the richness of the greenery, the innate knowledge of creation and the lack of haste from the plants to the animals.  There is space for me to just be. Space for my ego to drop and the capacity to be vulnerable and sit with the considerable questions that I don’t have the answers to.

Back in the city, my fresh renewed mind becomes mobbed and diluted with noise that I can’t seem to shut out.  I am at a loss for time. As much as I try to contain that peaceful easy feeling during my escape, it’s slipping through my fingers and I can only clutch on to moments.  How do I hold on to that rooted sense of peace that was so tangible mere days ago?

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” — Henry David Thoreau

Aloha Friday + Daily Gratitude

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It’s time for a gratitude list. Gratitude is a value I hold highly and it’s been teetering on the extremes. I am either fully enveloped in it, drowning in acknowledgment of life’s gifts- or commiserating in my quesitons and feeling helpless to situations. The easiest thing to do to gain perspective?  Write down a thank you list. 🙂 So here is mine, to lift spirits and remind me that I should be exhaulting in thanks every single day. Share what’s on your list!

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1.) Fresh Produce straight from the garden! While it is still one of my resolutions to have my own full on garden, until then I will gladly pick my veggies from the Carvitto family’s backyard.  There’s something about getting your hands dirty for food that satisfies your soul and your stomach.

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2.) One place I continue to have unwavering gratitude is for this man. I’m smitten kitten and so happy to be living in the same place, going on adventures like this one! A beautiful hike to Colchuck Lake near Leavenworth. (And yes this was taken just a few weeks ago. I never would have thought I would see snow in June?)

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3.) Daisy – I can’t underestimate the joy and happiness she brings into people’s lives. I’m not just talking about the people who are taking rides in her either. When we’re driving, it’s not uncommon to see heaps of smiles and people pumping their fist in approval from the sidewalks and other cars. One can’t help but appreciate the good vibes this big green bus gives.

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4.) New Experiences + Pushing Boundaries : I rocked climbed for the first time a few weeks ago. I’ve never been scared of heights and always down for a challenge, but it provoked different emotions than I would have ever guessed. While I trusted my belayer below me, I got stuck a few times in trusting myself to make the next move. I got so near the top with one HUGE (at least it looked huge) obstacle above me and I remember thinking, muscles shaking, I can’t do this. I voiced my surrender to the group below and was assured immediately that I could. And I did. With a lot of help! Standing at the top, I was literally almost in tears because I was so happy. Teamwork + Trust = Success.

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5.) Finding my favorite flowers (that I didn’t even plant) growing outside in my front yard. The PNW is rich with diverse and sweet smelling blossoms. Walking around my neighborhood I am literally hit with nectarous scents. That combined with the pops of color instantly put me in a peaceful and happy mood.

What’s on your gratitude list? What provides you with an instant lift?

Motivation Monday: Give Thanks // Get Moving

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unnamed1 (1)Yesterday morning I woke up, threw on my running shoes and was about to walk out the door with my headphones on when I stopped and listened to the quiet. It had been a while since I went on a pure run with no Spotify playlist to keep me going, without a watch or timer in hand and without knowing exactly where I was headed and when it would be over.   I set my phone down and started towards the mountains. (Yes those mountains in the picture.)

Summer is officially upon us and the sun is beckoning more moments in it’s presence.  More heat = less clothing and for females around the world – swimsuit season.  I didn’t think about it much while living in Hawaii because everyday was bikini day but there is a legimate fear around the summer season and being “beach ready.”

I get it.  Winter this year meant layers, warm heavier foods and a strange detachment from my paler than normal body. My main concern was just surviving the winter and keeping blood circulating to my fingers and toes. With the transition of the season and the freeing of my down jackets, I am so ready to get moving and get tan.

I hear so many complaints about working out and the groans of having to do double days at the gym. I got to thinking, what if we didn’t look at “working out” as work? What if we stopped looking at it as a way to fit into our skinny jeans and instead, a way to enjoy movement and keep our bodies healthy? Next time you have a negative thought about getting your sweat on, think about how you would feel if the luxury was taken away from you? We take this form for granted and forget that we are lucky to have healthy functioning bodies that WANT to move and bend and stretch and work. We have a heart that wants to beat faster and louder and pump stronger.  Our bodies perform all these amazing functions every second without two thoughts and we often fall short of thanking them in a rightful manner.

If you hate the gym, don’t go. Find an alternative activity that you are stoked to do. Run, swim, rock climb, do yoga, paddle, play tennis, dance in your living room, ride your bike, kick box or go to cross fit. EXPLORE options. Ask friends to go to class with you. Schedule in a time to give back to you body. Just keep moving. Just keeping giving thanks to the powerful and capable shape you’ve been given. What are your favorite ways to sweat?

Aloha Friday : Break up with Boring

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This weekend  I urge you to break up with boring.  Step away from your rituals and comfort zone.  Find an area in your life where you’ve felt less than satisfied and give it some extra love. Life is anything but boring, don’t treat it as such.  We hold the responsibility to wake up and LIVE each day to it’s maximum potential.  Don’t let everyday obligations crowd your schedule and force out the necessity for FUN.  Actually, if you’re going to add anything more to your agenda, it should be time to engage in some unexpected shenanigans.

Anyone have epic plans this weekend?! Share your ideas! Aloha nui xoxo

Dirtbag Darling spotlights || DAISY ||

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Who is Daisy? Daisy is my boyfriend’s 1979 VW bus that has been supplying the stoke to not only him and I, but friends and family since her purchase this past January.  She is a true adventuremobile, a bus who has seen more states and sights this  year than some have seen in their entire life.  I’m super blessed to have a man whose love for nature and thirst for expanding experiences reflects my own- keeping us planning for the next big trip and daydreaming about all the places that need to be explored.

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Thanks Dirtbag Darling for sharing Daisy’s story and being a source of inspiration for the ladies who love a challenge and the great outdoors!

Check out the story at Dirtbag Darling and look around to get tips on everything from climbing, hiking, traveling, gear, health and fitness.

Motivation Monday: Return to the Present

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feeling most present surrounded by God’s creation. I’m called to explore & wander.

“To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water.  The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace & beauty available now.” – Thich Nhat Hahn

Looking back on my emotionally charged month, I recognize that my moments of anxiety, suffering and unhappiness all have deep roots in looking too far ahead towards the future.  It has been a challenge for me to remain present, focused on the NOW because mentally I began checking out as soon as I set my departure date to Seattle.  My mind is full of clutter planning for the weeks ahead- job searching, house hunting and day dreaming about what my days will be filled with.  (So far, I have created a mental list of hobbies to fill my winter days with including becoming a master health chef, rainy art days, hours devoted to improving my writing one espresso shot at a time, meditation meditation meditation and road tripping the PNW Coast.)

My dilemma is tangible.  My mind is not separate from my body and yet they are in two completely different places.  I am aware that NOW is all I have, that THIS moment is filled with joy and happiness if I only shifted my attentiveness to it.  So why do I continue to obsess about what will happen in two weeks and what life will look like in six months?  Right now is enough.  Actually,  it’s more than enough, and I’m learning to embrace it. ALL of it – the beauty and the struggle, the peaks and the valleys.  Remembering that no feeling is final, and tomorrow will come soon enough.

What keeps you grounded in the present moment? How do you tune into life “as is” right now? Where do you find content?

Aloha Nui and Happy Monday! xo

Motivation Monday: Awakening the Mind State

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PC: Mike Keany [Wa’ahila Ridge]

“The whole path of yoga begins with these little daily experiences of waking up.  Awakening comes, in yoga, not at the end of the path; rather, it is present from the very beginning.  Ramakrishna, perhaps the greatest Indian mystic of the last two centuries, was fond of saying, “Only the divine can worship the divine.” In the experience of samadhi, in other words, it is our awake nature that recognizes itself in the mirror of consciousness.  In these moments, we are dissolved back into the One that is our source.” – Stephen Cope [ Yoga & the Quest of the True Self ]

We’ve all had our experiences of samadhi (bliss or union with the divine) and in these moments we know who we really are.  We rest into our true nature and recognize in the deepest part of our soul, everything is as it should be.  There is nothing to accept and nothing to reject. Life just is as it is, and that’s perfect.  These tasted moments of union may be brief, but they are the reminder that we can arrive and awaken everyday to our life.  It’s not enough to just show up. We have to engage and shake from the dream of separateness in which we usually live.

Sometimes this concept seems so simple to me. Other times, it’s a calculus equation I can’t begin to disassemble.  But in these succinct moments, there are no partitions or boundaries. I feel  a break through from daily life and grind.  I’m not worried because the illusion of separateness is broken.  I am aligned with the present and I know I am provided for.

Yoga puts our experiences of enlightenments at the center of our being and it’s difficult to turn back after that.  All of us who have had these experiences know, in spite of our denials or rationalizations, that we are changed by them.  Exiting out of samadhi and landing back into ordinary consciousness, we’re not quite the same.  We’ve seen truth and are not so concerned with the small picture anymore.

 I have moments where I can’t unroll my mat, I don’t want to chant, meditation is unbearable and I’m unmotivated to teach.   But yoga remains because it is my mode of transportation to truth.  Bliss may only come in moments, but the imprint it leaves on my spirit is permanent.

Happy Monday // aloha nui!

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