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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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“Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers — for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are” ~Osho

Nature is Love. It’s simple happiness. The Osho quote perfectly describes life around us. Everything has happiness just as it is. Nothing to strive for, nothing to be worried about, nothing to be heartbroken over. Life happens all around us with pure joy no matter the circumstances.
Today I worked then spent the day running the trails in Seattle. It’s amazing how alive the city gets this season. Every restaurant is flourishing, the markets are flooded with people and the trails and parks are filled with people enjoying the sun and soaking in that vitamin we all barely get through the other 8 months of the year. I have noticed when I hike, when I am out on the trails….I am happiest. I could be with friends or I could be alone and I feel the exact same feeling. bliss.
We were meant to roam and explore. We were meant to be happy. Whatever is going on this very moment, whatever pain you may feel….remember that although it may hurt right now, it will pass and life will be beautiful just as it is. Sometimes I go through pain(especially this past year) and I realize the more I don’t give it power to ruin my day, the less I worry, the better things work out. Things have been working out….and I find peace in nature.

Back to my trail run. I haven’t been running with my Runkeeper app in months. It’s liberating!!! I am not training for any races right now because of my circumstances and I realized that this past year I have slowly let the pace thing get to me. I would beat my best pace and over time I would try to get faster and faster and when I don’t beat it, I feel defeated…like I’m failing. How absolutely dramatic of me…but it’s what has been happening. I switched things up, I stopped using my Runkeeper, stopped tracking my miles, put the electro house music on hold and paused. This summer I have only been running with country music, with books on tape, with sermon’s from my church and I have been relaxing my pace. In this instance, my run’s go longer, with more relaxation and the ability to be joyful. AS WE SHOULD BE. Things will change when I can train for the marathons and such but for now, I live every single day in peace. Serenity from keepin’ up with the Jones’s, serenity from self-criticism and serenity from anything negative.

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After my run I stopped and picked some blackberries. Here in Washington they are all starting to ripen. I got a little carried away and by the time I got to my car I noticed:

1. I have a random Mason Jar in the trunk
2. There are hundreds of blackberry bushes all near my car! Score!

The addict in my little head told me I need to find every blackberry before I go home… So tonight I made a delish little dessert with my berry-winnings!

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dont they look amazing???…..and kind of not completely ripe yet. i got a little excited

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dessert

a sliver of chocolate cake with a scoop of greek yogurt, my blackberries and a scoop of ground chia/flaxseed/cacao :)

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It’s a rainy afternoon here in Washington.

but it’s been in the upper 80’s all week so It’s been nice….Eastern Washington’s wildfires also need this right now.

Usually I would be up in the mountains on Wednesdays but it was thundering and lightning and I didn’t feel like being out in that. I decided to lay low, rest and practice yoga. I have a power class tonight but today i focused on my inversions at home.

I love the quote that I stumbled across today mostly because it mentioned mermaids but when you read it, it describes me quite well.

“I have no fear of depths”

I don’t have fear when things get complex, when a conversation gets deep and uncomfortable. I don’t mind when you tell me the most horrible stories that have ever happened to you or from you. I don’t mind tears and pain and anger…..along with deep joy and happiness….It’s all beautiful to me. Authenticity is key. I believe in opening your heart and really talking about how you feel. I may not be prefect at it but that is the beauty of it. There is something so beautiful about a person really discussing their passion, and opening up like that.

“….a great fear of shallow living”

Who in God’s nature likes this? Enjoys shallow conversation and white lies to make the image of yourself look better. It’s too often that I talk to people that have nothing to talk about. The extent of our conversation is meaningless small talk. They are going through nothing, they think about nothing and they only have shallow conversation to share. It bores me…I want to know the real you and not the plastic version of yourself.

I think this is why I am single. Too often the men I meet try to create themselves into the kind of man that they presume I would be interested in. I see right through it all but it’s interesting to stand back and just watch them unfold. I have been single for a long while now. I told myself when I got sober a year ago that I would not settle with just anyone anymore. I would know my own worth and be willing to patiently wait for the right person. I want someone who shares the same passion as me so that if we are together, we can do the same things: hiking and eventually a person that will willingly do larger scale hiking and traveling. Someone who loves to run and get outside with me or enjoy yoga. Someone that doesn’t NEED to really know what the future unfolds. Someone that doesn’t care what others think of him and doesn’t need constant reassurance of his worth. Someone who doesn’t need to party like a child….someone who has got his party days out of the way and has no need to try and relive those memories. Someone who can see the beauty in everything and someone who can grow in love with his life and the people in his life without judgment. Someone who is honest and knows what he wants.

There you go, a little post about depth and shallow conversation linked to relationships:) the beauty of not needing to write about fitness!

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Have I mentioned how freaking happy I’ve been lately? If you follow me on Instagram, this may already have been apparent to you. I am a smile-ear-to-ear grateful for everything these days person. I wish I could put this into a how-to manual for the negative-energy-sucking-non-aware people.

Does anyone know my story?
Does anyone know what I’m about to go through?
Probably not.

I have 3 DUI’s…..I am 9 months sober today and grateful for my life. I have trial in a week and a half and am looking at about 4 months in jail minimum…..with a miracle, it could be less but that is what I am looking at. I figured you all should know in case I drop off the face of the internet for a bit hehe. I could cry about my future and play the victim card a while longer but what the hell would that do for me?

In my entire unhealthy drinking/living career, I am grateful that I managed to get out from all of this without hurting myself or another. Today I get to be alive. People ask why I run so much, why I’m always in the mountains, why I do so much yoga and why am I never able to relax?
Well now you know…what’s the point of living if you can’t enjoy it? Imagine you’re going to jail in a few weeks…what would you do today?
What would you do tomorrow?

Imagine if you looked into your future and didn’t see the freedom that you have today…
WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?

Now imagine you’re not like me and don’t have to go to jail.
Look at how you live your life and think to yourself…why am I not living a more free, fulfilling life?
Why am I living in this small boring box, going to work feeling shitty about how much I hate my job, how much this hangover hurts, why do I stay with a lover who doesn’t connect with me?

Why do I allow myself to play small?
Why don’t I truly embrace my life?

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I’m reading this amazing book by Danielle LaPorte called The Desire Map. It talks about rather than create a goal list, a bucket list, a 1, 5 and 10 year plan, why not create a Desire List?
Sometimes we make lofty goals and sometimes life happens and changes us from ever getting to some of those goals….we feel sorry for ourselves and we sometimes forget our lists all together. She comes at goal setting from a whole different angle in which she says create a desire list.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL?…..in your ideal life I’m asking you this now…how do you want to FEEL?

Here is my list for the current time:

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Now she says stick that somewhere and look at it everyday, add to it, start over, get creative with it. Now look at that list, and really dissect the list…think of things that make you feel those feelings….

Now do something everyday that makes you feel some of those feelings…now do them every day. Soon enough the things you do everyday that make you feel those ideal feelings end up shaping the path to your ideal life.

On an end note, nothing makes me happier than doing the best I can with what I have. Enjoying the people I have in my life. Enjoying the freedom I have today, and when I face my hardest times, I will treat is as a meditation, a life lesson, to help others see the greatness in their life while they can. We think our lives can be so hard sometimes even when nothing really is that hard…..remember that life is about perspective and why waste it by looking at the negative side of everything.

1377388_376622242440463_262925_nCreate SPACE by letting go.

Something I’ve never really been good about is showing weakness. My perfectionistic obsessiveness always brought me to a place of pushing to be perfect when I really just needed to relax…

 

Sometimes in life we need to take it easy. Anything we push in life surely will go away in one way or another. In my case, its battling this tendonitis. It started a year ago in my left wrist. I was jumping into handstands, crow, anything upside down. I still do these things but at that point in my life I was aggressively pushing the pain out of my mind and thinking it would go away in time. I am 27 years old and to this day (knock on wood) I’ve never broken a bone, I’ve never sprained anything and really never been hurt. Anything I have ever done has served me well and anything that hurts always went away. Time sure has changed, because I’m starting to really feel pain if I work too hard in one form of exercise…I wake up in back/shoulder pain once and awhile and realize I am no longer invincible like my ego thought I was.

 

My tendonitis got worse….I went to teacher training and spent the whole training working against myself with this wrist problem. When I got home from training, it got so bad that I finally went to a hand therapist. I didn’t feel things were really helping since It was just in a brace for months so I took up acupuncture. I also felt that that only helped lesson the pain for a short while. Keep in mind through all this I was still getting upside down on my mat and not modifying for shit.

 

Finally we tried natural injections and within a month, everything was gone. Woohooooo. It’s been about 4 or 5 months now with a good wrist.

 

Now my tendonitis is back and it’s in my shoulder, around my rotator cuff and down my upper arm. I couldn’t sleep for days and it felt like constant aching. I went to my chiropractor and acupuncture doc again and we are working through this.

 

I am also doing a 30 day yoga challenge this month.

ohhhhh the power of an addictive crazy person. Things are different now though…I have been to 6 classes in the last 5 days and have mixed in Bikram, Yin and in my normal power classes, I’m dropping my knees in chatarunga and not getting upside down. As much as I have mini panic attacks when I’m holding a chair pose prayer twist and the teacher says we can jump into side-crow if that’s in our practice, I stay still…I know now that my ego has brought me injury, and my ego will continue to try to give me injury but only if i let it.

So I learn to let go…

Quiet the ego down that tells me I will not be a good teacher if I cant do EVERYTHING.

It’s so important to be aware of how we treat our bodies and we have to mentally check in with our intentions. In my case, I had the intention of looking good. I came to my mat to prove to everyone in the room that I could follow all the teachers orders in grace. But that’s pure bullshit now isn’t it? No one gives a flying care what you do on your mat. They also don’t care what you do in your life. Everything is all up in our heads to try and wear this special mask when we are all not that special.

When we injure ourselves and continue to ignore what our bodies are trying to tell us, which is to relax and lay off a little, we cause further pain.

 

We need to use yoga to free our ego. Become whole. Become quiet. We come together to share the energy of breathing and moving and living…but coming to yoga to show off your damn gymnastics skills, especially on injury will only burn you out. This month I’m learning to be gentle with my body and mind….because I want this mind and body to last longer than my shitty ego sometimes:)

 

So create space. let it go….let go the need to be so much more than you are. be happy with yourself because you are already perfect.

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