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Steps

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I don’t know where and when I stopped holding on to people. I sweep things under the rug. I pretend I’m so happy on my own. I smile so big but find myself running in circles to keep my lonely heart busy with activities to do. Yoga, hiking, running, repeat. When you’re constantly running in circles you barely have time to feel lonely. It’s amazing filling my day doing everything that makes me happy. Right now I can’t do those things. As I have said, I am in a transition.
Lone wolf.
Solitude.
Embrace independence.
You can do everything on your own.

I’m talking about it now. I’m telling you what happens when you aren’t able to do everything that you love 7 days a week. You get to wake up, but you have all these thoughts running through your head. Constantly.

You feel.
Feel.
Feel.
Feel.
Nothing to run from, nothing to distract the underlaying feelings of loneliness, regret, and unsaid feelings. It’s all fucking right there, staring at you in the face like you’re naked for the world to see.

Every single day I realize how important it is to eat fruits and vegetables because when you don’t eat properly, it alters your mood and makes you an unhealthy crazy mean person.
I realize how much I hate feeling or having an outlet to channel the very things that get released when I’m doing what I love.
I realize how much I miss being in love with someone and having the same in return. I don’t remember the last time I’ve ever really truly been in love. Sometimes I feel incapable of normal emotions. Sometimes I’m scared that I am not able to make a family because all this time has gone by and I’m still single, never been pregnant and don’t understand the concept of love.

These are the raw things going through my head the last few days. I miss the mountains. I miss how much they lift my heart and make me smile. Today I have to learn to embrace these raw feelings so that I can understand them and move forward.

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Lace up your shoes and step outside. The Pacific Northwest air is crisp and cool…much different than the Indian summer we’ve been having. Life is bustling and the cars and people create a life of energy along these city streets yet my mind feels quiet. Like stepping into a slow motion dream my mind feels serene….

Everyone who’s runs is a runner yet we may have different reasons why we do it. We run to clear our mind, we run to lose weight, and we run because sometimes it’s all we have left.

The ability to use our two legs, step one in front of the other and spend every day celebrating our freedom. I have been one to try and lose weight by doing it but now it’s much different. It’s not about how fast I go or how long I run…it’s the feeling of pure freedom. The ability to do something that we take for granted.

In the wild, animals run for their lives…they run to kill their future meal, they run to escape the animal trying to eat them. They run because they can. They run because it’s rooted in their chemistry to run.

We have become lazy. We drive instead of walk for most situations, and we take our legs for granted. We no longer need to run away from predators but we runners understand something all the same….we have life. Life has become a series of predators….from money problems to bad relationships to legal battles to a failed life….it makes our heart race.

Anything you may be facing whether it be the demons in your head or the problems you may face, running helps lessen the pain.

Run till you can’t feel.
Run till you realize that there is no pain in running but simply release.

That is where I stand. Rain or shine, whatever life throws at me I can lessen with the trail or pavement beneath my feet.
Get out there…celebrate freedom.

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It’s October now. The seasons are changing, the leaves go from green to red to orange to yellow and within this short season, everything dies and regenerates and prepares for new life. This circle of life starts to transition this month into new form. It’s a beautiful feeling. It’s much like human life if we let it. We circulate new experiences, friendships, troubles and joys and things shift.

Just that. They shift. What you do to handle this shift is up to you. The trees never cry when their leaves change and eventually die. This is part of the tree’s process. The decaying leaves become life for new growth and eventually that tree has new leaves and new life. No big fuss over the past.

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My life is like this today. I embrace the change…not always with open arms, not always with a big smile on my face, but a smile in my heart.
When I stopped trying to control the evolution of life and the feelings and experiences that come with it, I can truly flourish in God’s process. I can only do what the day delivers me. I can choose to be happy or sad but in the end, whatever is supposed to happen, will.

Remember today that this month is a good opportunity to flourish. See what’s happening around you and within you and be conscious of how you feel. Change happens and it always will evolve and change form, but remember that you are a small piece of life, nothing really hurts that much, and nothing lasts forever. Enjoy today, October is here.

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It’s a difficult task to sit down and write about all the beautiful places I have been within a short period of time. I feel that I often hike, come home, upload some pictures over Instagram or Facebook and pass out…wake up, go on another adventure and repeat. Then I work all day, yoga after, maybe a run and then pass out.

But here I am, laying on the ground writing while I pray my car’s mechanical problems are an easy fix in the morning. Who knew you could drive for months with a disconnected right control arm! I’m just grateful nothing bad happened to me while driving.

“We’ve got a motto here-you’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.”—Christopher McDougall

I have to remember to stay humble and let go of my need to control absolutely everything. I forget sometimes….I forget that not everything is so difficult. Things always workout just as they should. I don’t need to worry about anything because it distracts from true progress with the remote possibility of accomplishing anything with ease.

On a lighter note, here is the beautiful Blanca Lake! Not my first time here but just as beautiful as the last time I’ve seen her! Blanca lake is an 8-mile round trip hike in the cascades. This milky-green color stays this way all year round. I find it even more beautiful with a cloudy sky because the water just glows. Anyway it was a crowded day out there but so worth it. I recommend it to anyone visiting Washington. It’s sure a site to see!

Hiking makes me so happy. Keeps me grateful. That is all, thought I would share a little but I didn’t have much to say 😊

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A year ago I would have never in my life been able to enjoy something on my own. I would have had to call people and do things with them and cater to what the group wanted. Today I extend my invitation to where I plan to go and if no one is free, I still trudge forward.
Independence and Self-Worth are my biggest gifts theses days. It’s liberating to wake up every single morning fearless of what the world cares about my small existence. All I know these days is that I get up, and do exactly what I want to do every single day.

Yesterday I woke up early and went to a meeting then figured that Sauk Mountain has been on my list and have heard about it being short and relatively easy. I was drawn to it on the forums because the path is literally on the side of the mountain the entire time and when hiking alone, I like to be in open space. I’m so happy I did it. I have a little 2006 Honda Civic which has really gone through the ringer with all my trails this summer. The road to the trailhead felt like it took forever for how slow that I had to drive. There were a few areas with potholes and at the very end of the road, it felt like the rocks got sharper.

I finally arrived and realized I forgot my bug spray. I opened the door and instantly got dive-bombed by a bee! I jumped back in the car and closed my door.
“Why did I forget my damn bug spray!? Why did I accidentally put perfume on this morning???”

I tried again….
Once again crickets, butterflies, grasshoppers and flies all jumping and flying at me(this is not an exaggeration). I ran to my trunk to get my runners on and more bees chased me.

Back in the car. Close door. Feel like an idiot and grateful it’s just me and one other car in the lot.
“What’s wrong with me? Why do I hike alone without bug spray? Why did I drive an hour and a half for this? I fucking drove an hour and a half for this I need to quit being a baby and get the hell outside”
I roll my socks on and lace up my shoes. I attach my GoPro to my trekking pole, pray to sweet baby Jesus and get outside. I can do this. I walk over to the sign/map area.

A lovely sign read this:

[Bear Hunting Season. Please wear bright colors, Bears are attracted to scented objects and food. Please use a bear bag]

Instantly being alone and fearful, I walk back to the car, take out my sandwich and carrots and put it in my trunk and get on the trail….”just in case” hahahaha. I don’t need food, I can’t just drink water.

This is what happened to me. Momemnt by moment. I hike a lot and this is not the first time I’ve ever been alone. I had an hour and a half to drive alone to this and when I first made the turn on to Sauk Mountain Road there was a big sign about a woman named Patti who has been missing since 2010 and last seen on this trail. I know this is just one person but my mind raced and got the best of me to what could have happened to this Patti woman. By the time I got to the top of the trail with all my thoughts racing because I’m crazy, I instantly didn’t see it as a hike, but as a death sentence. You’re welcome for my unfiltered drama.

The second I was on the trail, everything diminished. I am meant to be here. I am a small part of the beauty of life and I am safe. The higher I trekked up the mountain, all my fears had left me. It was beautiful. There were chipmunks everywhere and a gorgeous view below me in all directions. It was pretty leveled and it didn’t take me very long to get to the top. I ran half the way and was just in awe of the beauty of this state. When I finally reached Sauk Lake overlook, I was taken back. How can this be so beautiful? How am I so lucky to experience so many places and I haven’t even left the state?

Too often we think things are greener on the other side. We sit on Pinterest and wish we could be in Ireland or Tahiti or wherever your ideal place is and we forget that within a couple hours, we can be greatly surprised by what’s right in front of us. I encourage you to open your eyes and open your heart to the people right beside you. The ones IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW. I encourage you to see only the good in them and to love them just as they are. I encourage you to get outside and be in nature. I encourage you to stop judging those around you along with seeing the flaws in your life and where you live. Being in nature is cheap happiness so stop with all your excuses right now. Look around you and see how perfect everything is. Look within yourself to see only beauty and stop overanalyzing everything and everyone. I almost turned around and drove home yesterday because there were too many BUGS! seriously??? I’m glad I snapped out of that because when you get over the little things in life, it allows room to truly experience the BIG things in life…like being on top of a mountain and overlooking God’s beauty. I encourage you to be free.

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Getting Wild requires letting go of a set schedule. Getting Wild requires letting go of your need to be “put together” all the time. Getting Wild requires breaking through the boundaries that keep you safe. Getting Wild requires letting go of every expectation that may lay ahead of you.

So where do you land when you let everything go?
Here.
Right here right now.
OR over there…or everywhere…

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When we let go and get wild, we discover the beauty in the ordinary. We see the charm in the grass beneath our feet, the way the trees curve in different directions above us. We hear the sounds of animals we never knew existed. We feel the rain hit our skin and not worry about the makeup we’re wearing. We feel our hair begin to curl and dampen and it doesn’t even bother us. We smile in all the glory that lay before us. We scramble the tops of mountains to see the views of lakes below. We feel our body working in ways we never knew we could handle but we are…just freaking killing it at life.

Getting Wild brings you freedom. Getting Wild helps you forget your measly problems and helps you surrender to your present moment.

This last couple weeks I haven’t been blogging but did a 17 mile hike in one day on the PCT last week and this week I hiked and camped on Mason Lake and Bandera Mountain. I feel the excitement deep in my bones every single week that I get to camp and hike and the day I have to leave back to reality I get that sick vacation-is-over-i-dont-want-to-go-back feeling. I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I know that I feel immense freedom on the trails. I know that I only have about a month more or so before my freedom will be tested.

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3 months.
3 months in silent meditation that will test my inner self. It’s amazing how we take advantage of every single thing in front of us. Our beds, the roof over our heads, the privacy of our own home, the ability to drive from A to B. The choice of what to eat every day, the large amount of gyms and yoga studios and mountains and just….choices. I am learning that I am so blessed to have so many choices. We always wish we had more of everything and do not realize that if we took everything we have away right now…we wouldn’t need MORE, we would only wish for what we HAD. SO what happens when our freedom gets taken away from us?

Well that’s where I am today. I am in a transition. I have one month of roaming the trails and embracing every moment of my freedom then I will be gone. I will be celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year without the freedom to be with my family or doing what I want. I will be practicing patience. I will be writing more about the joy of life just to be alive. I will be testing my battle with attachment. I will be writing a book to teach people how to live life without attaching to expectation. It will be something I have feared for a very long time. I realize something today that I never realized a year or more ago:

Anything in life that scares you or makes you feel uncomfortable probably is something you should do. For what we fear and do anyway makes us stronger beyond belief.

I believe I write, hike, take beautiful photographs, write poetry and paint because I am free. I am here to show you the beauty in the ordinary and that you can face anything in life with a smile because you always have that choice to be grateful and happy. I challenge you to let go, and Get Wild…it is your right to find happiness today.

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What a magical week!
I went on 3 hikes and turned one year sober.

I also had a handful of people say the same thing to me:
“YOU have so much to offer the world”…..I find that so beautiful….my little ears are used to my imaginary ear-plugs constantly blocking out any form of kind remark or compliment from anyone. I have learned this year to remove those imaginary ear-buds and accept the words of others and accept that I am a worthy person capable of helping others. Most my life I felt so broken that the thought of helping others seemed absolutely impossible. How can one help another if they don’t even know who they are in the first place?

My life is growing. I feel so much change and evolution within myself and I can barely contain it. Today I hear people say that I have so much to offer….and I finally can stop, think and really say “YES! I agree”. I really feel that my story, and the things I have gone through in life can help so many other people. The thought of being a guiding light for another makes me giddy as I sit here typing this. I remember about 6 months ago reading about desires and the importance of setting an intention. I remember waking up every morning and thinking, “God, I desire to feel empowered and vitality…..I desire to empower others”….and I said that every single day for a while amongst other things.

WIthin this past month, I feel this. I feel my confidence slowly rising and my fear subsiding. I feel my words towards others really lifting them. I used to only use this blog as a way for spreading my word but now I see it around me…..it’s an incredible feeling.

So the last three days really defined my new blog name! It’s funny how true this blog-name-change came along…..I created it and find myself truly on the trails or in the water everyday:) Being in nature combined with living a loving, positive life really makes everything better….I feel if others saw the brighter side of things, we could all help each other grow…..

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love?’ These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will be many fruits, here in this world and the life to come”
-Henri Nouwen

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(above: after climbing a few waterfalls, I reached a place to swim. isn’t washington amazing?)

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(trail-running to lake melakwa)

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(climbing waterfalls)

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(next day: hiking to Barclay Lake with my brother)

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(this is why i need to buy a professional photography camera….i want to be a photographer someday!)

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(it was too cold to jump in, but we thoroughly explored the area)

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(brother bear exploring the meadows)

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(we had our own private beaches)

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(just hangin!)

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(day 3////last night where we went hiking/trail-running till 9pm)

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(the sun before our head down the trail)

What a glorious week! You have SO much to offer….we all do. Make the most of this beautiful life!

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