Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Finding my way HOME :)


New Years Eve is always such an excellent opportunity to reflect on the year. Every year I think it’s my best year yet, and every new year it gets better! What a phenomenon; To know we have the opportunity to make every year better. I honestly LOVE getting older... I have learned so much, and we just get to add more experience and more exposure and more growth and more love and more opportunity and more lessons and more LIFE on top of all of it??? What a ridiculously amazing game of compounded interest!!!  

LET’S TOAST!!!!  I’m raising my glass of Fancy Pants red wine to the fact that we can choose for this year to be our best year yet!! 



Without intending it to be, my 2013 turned out to be the 'Explore America' year. In just these last 12 months,  I visited 26 states, logged over 12,000 miles of road trips, and climbed to the top of 22 state high points, naked ;) (hehe, yes it’s true!). What a year it was!!! 

It started out in extreme peace (and some internal disharmony!). I lived and learned extraordinary life lessons at a yoga and medication retreat in Northern California, all the while healing from an difficult lesson of unanswered questions. It was a place called Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, and they are doing amazing things there. Check it out :) 



In Feb, I drove down to, (in my gramps truck and under his watchful eye), climbed down into, the Grand Canyon. It is awe-inspiring, vast, and delicate, and the lower you go, the more you feel both our insignificance and our great power. Def a place to add to the bucket list :).



From there, I drove back north along highway 101, fell in love with the whole coast, and reconfirmed I belong to the Pacific ;).




In March, I realized my mother was my best friend (and a real life living saint), and that I want (need) her as close to me as possible. I feel no shame in saying this, and I hope you either have or can give the most pure unconditional love that she has the ability to give. You should meet her if you can :). We went on a 10 day ‘where-should-we-live-road-trip’ from San Fran, all over and back up to WA, and randomly, perfectly, serendipitously (aka the universe gives you what you give it) found the place I wanted to live in my home state!! (been here 31 days, my heaven on earth so far!!!)

In April, I went back to Miami, where I spend 6 weeks finishing my house renovation loose-ends, and caught up with my bestest friends. There is no doubt in my mind, our connections and a feeling of belonging is what makes life grand. GIVE all that you can and your connections will blossom. Seriously. Selflessness is the new black ;). 

In May, I made the US Dragon Boat team (again!), trained, and flew to Hungary (in July) for the World Championships.  I then toured Eastern Europe for 4 extra weeks and had vivid experiences that you should visit me to hear about ;).




I loved and lost. I fell and got back up. I cried and I cheered. I stood up for what I believe in. I honored who I am, I lost friends, I gained friends. I recognized the path of others even when it was far from my own. I messed up, I apologized. I confirmed there is no emotion that is ‘bad’. Every single one helps us along the way and should be honored. I've been honoring them all, and found bliss in doing so. 

Over the summer, I drove my motorcycle (with hand-painted rainbow striped helmet) over 4,000 miles all over the East Coast, even up to Montreal, Canada (and back!). I can’t say I’ve done anything more invigorating that this amazing journey. Take risks :). 
I was a sight to be seen, no doubt ;) 

In September, I hunkered down with my mom for a few months, and started drafting out my future.  It’s amazing to draw up your dreams exactly as you want to see them. Mine is called The Bloom Woods :). I highly recommend doing this, forging your own path and life and happiness. (I would be happy to help you get there- that is part of my plan!! ;)

In November, I officially moved!! So long Florida- 13 years you were great (and you gave me wicked memories and life-long friends) ... but I am officially a Washingtonian again!!! YIPPEEE!!!!! My mom and I drove 2,900+ miles to the west coast, hauling a 20’ trailer of furniture!!! We broke down and got towed twice, almost died in an icy sliding miracle, and realized we had tires that were worn down to the core only AFTER arriving. No doubt our Guardian Angel was working hard. Thanks Gramps. No way he was going to let us both perish ;) 


In December, I found and moved into the best apartment in the universe :). My toilet doesn’t flush, but everyday I see the mighty Columbia River, and almost everyday the fabulous Mt. Hood, right from my living room. Also everyday, I thank this world for letting me see it has been the gratitude, love, confidence and faith in every moment, that has gotten me here.  

My view!!!
As the year comes to a close (less than 2 hours now!!!), I ponder what some might call my ‘luck’.  No, it is not luck. It is a conscious, everyday privilege. to be thankful, to be empathetic, to look for the positive, to give as much as I can.  It is an intentional, purposeful, extraordinary effort to love every human, every moment, every second, and to give as much as possible.  I can only aspire to give more. 

More than anything, this year has become the year to understand that I know absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. My resume, my accomplishments, my history, my story, my experiences--- they are but a mere, puny grain of sand.  If there is one thing I know, it is that I can never know enough, can never learn enough, can never give enough... but I can try! And the trying is the best part :)

I am sooooo thrilled for 2014.  As I enter the non-profit world, I know I will make mistakes, but learn from them. I know I will look and be a fool, but learn from it. I know I will throw caution to the wind, risk it all, bear it all...  and be better because of it. The question really, is not 'why?' but rather 'why not??'  



As we barrel towards 2014, I have an idea for your resolution!!!! I would like to propose adding this to your resolution: to be curious, to be open, to consciously see things from another’s view. To search, adamantly, for the positive. It is through this door, the door of OPEN, that my life has become sheer joy and contentment.  I do not have any intention to brag. I have no desire to ‘be better than’. I have no goal to bring about jealousy. I know I cannot please everyone, but for those that I can reach, I honestly, truly, deeply, widely, honorably have found happiness, and I can’t stand the thought of doing anything else but sharing the how-to that has worked for me. I believe it can work for anyone, because it is simply love.  Let’s practice :). 

Look for The Bloom Woods to launch within the month! “Go outside, grow Inside” :). 



This year? This year will be magic.  

Time to parttttay ;) See you next year! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

What a LUCKY day! :)

Today is Friday the 13th! Most likely you’ve been conditioned to think that means an unlucky day... 

PING!! My brain twitches and shimmies and does the jig. What’s this?? A negative connotation?!?! Hmmm... let’s check this out. Let’s do a little research and see about this ‘scary’ Friday the 13th. Is it deserving of it’s reputation? 

Ahhh, guess what? It all depends how you choose to look at it :).  There are endless articles about where this reputation comes from. I found it’s supposedly the ‘original day of sin’, but it’s all very vague. Did you know that in our our calendar system, the 13th day of the month is more likely to fall on a Friday than any other day of the week? We had three Friday the 13th’s in 2012!!  It appears that starting way back when, folks began documenting bad things that happened on Friday.  Well, shoot, more people DO things on Friday, so it makes sense more bad things happen then! Seems like pure logistics to me!!! :) 

Then, I also found an article that touts Friday the 13th as quite lucky indeed! For one, because so many people are scared of something bad happening, they are more careful :). But for two, it’s been said “the day and the number were once associated with the Great Goddesses, and therefore, regarded as the sacred essence of luck and fortune”.  I much prefer this :).

I’ve noticed that, no matter what your view/belief/ideal about something is, you can almost always find something or someone to corroborate your opinion, especially if it’s negative. And even if it’s false!





We love to complain together :). This is not entirely baffling when we learn that there are many more (generally deemed) negative emotions, than there are (deemed) positive!!!  (I say 'deemed' because emotions are neutral, it's the context and your feelings about them that make them pos/neg)

The question then, is NOT, can you find 1000 ways to validate the negative, but rather: Can you come up with ONE positive aspect, from anywhere, but especially from your own imagination? Why not choose to be on the positive? 

It’s all how you look at it. It’s attitude. There are a number of words that I’ve been cataloging. Words that often get a bad rap, because they can occasionally get abused. Yet, when you really look at the word, it is quite amazing. This also PING’s my brain.  It’s like reading a great book, finding 2 or 3 sentences in it that don’t ring true, and thus discrediting the whole book.  Hmm! 

Take a look at these words. Take a moment on each and see what emotion/thoughts/feelings come up in you:

Alone
Powerful
Hitchhiking
Hippy
Eccentric
Wild
Muslim
Agnostic
Crazy
Single
Different
Change.

(please feel free to comment with more words we can add to the list!)

.... what were your thoughts? Was there an overall negative pull? Or were there some words that felt positive? Maybe neutral? Whereby you could pull up specific instances that give a negative thought or a positive one?  

Did you once know a hippy friend that was drugged out and constantly bumming money? But what about the millions of hippies that live self-sufficient, loving, eco-friendly, beautiful lives?  

Powerful? Often times we associate powerful with greedy, wealthy, abusers of power. Adolf Hitler was powerful, but so was our late and great Nelson Mandela. 

Being single? If you read this blog of mine, you know I love being single. It truly is wonderful, yet so often people tend to focus on the singular fact that they don’t want to be, so are unhappy about it. 

Each and every of these words has a debate involved in it.... and I choose to see the positive. You too can choose to see the positive.

Because we DO get to choose

My very favorite of all those words, is CHANGE. 

Change is such an incredible thing. When held in the context of our saving our earth, updating government policies, the education system, (or our underwear!) it is seen as a positive . Let’s change!! Yet so often, when referring to ourselves (our disposition, our temperament, our beliefs, our defaults) it’s seen as negative. “I can’t change, this is just the way that I am.”

That is a 99% false statement, and revs up every life-coach-bone in my body :).  Change is not only possible, and wonderful, but inevitable.  The smartest thing we can do is embrace it, and juice it for all it’s blessings!!  

I’ve been studying and analyzing this word so much lately, Change.  I particularly love change, and feel immensely grateful to be BFF’s with it :).  As my epic life saga continues, I find myself engulfed in change!! Everything about my situation is different and new and unknown... and it’s completely, totally and wildly amazing :).  Just in the past month, I moved to Washington State from Florida (or alabama or everywhere). I have a home (yay!!) instead of being a nomad. I have a closet rather than a backpack! It’s mittens and scarf and hat weather vs. bikini weather.  I merrily cook 2- 3 meals a day (as opposed to thinking I didn’t enjoy it before). I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, let alone in a month and in a year. And yet, I’m in utter bliss :) 

Change means many things to me. Change means growth. Change means a new experience. Experience means exposure. Exposure means open eyes, open mind and open heart. Open eyes mean thinking, seeing. Open mind means learning. Open heart means understanding and empathy. Empathy means patience. Patience means love. Love means gratitude. Being grateful means being happy. :)





Change= growth. Growth=happy. Therefore (by transitive law!), Change= happy :).  There is no quality more beneficial to and for a person, that that of being willing to grow. It is the quality I seek out in all my relationships. Even more so, I seek out eagerness to grow in my closest relationships (platonic and carnal).  For as long as I live, I will actively grow everyday :).   Many relationships fail, sadly, because one or both parties decide to stop growing :(. 

Emotional, mental, spiritual growth is perpetually positive. You may not know the reason for your current ‘change’ right at this moment. You may not find out the reason for a year, or 10, or you may never know it.  BUT, if you can understand, grasp, and welcome the notion that whatever is changing in your life is something that you need, something that is benefitting you, that is pushing your life into the direction it wants to go, you will be happier. 

Earlier in this blog I stated that my life is an epic saga. I am endlessly grateful for every twist and turn that’s been in it.  My life is an epic saga because I choose to see it that way, I choose to make it that way.  On paper: I have no job. I have $659 in the bank.  I just sold my trailer...to cover the cost of moving. My rent is more than my income (seeking a roomie!). I owe my mom $1525. I have a $3500 bill for a hospital procedure that was supposed to be covered by my insurance, but wasn't :(.  I currently owe $500 to my charity kids, yet hold a strong intuition that I’m getting somewhat scammed by the admin, but I can’t let those babies down. Come January I'll have to tap my IRA to cover all these and continue moving towards my dreams. People very very very close to me, immediate family and best friends, are fighting cancer, obesity, depression, divorce, addiction, self-destruction, major life changes and stresses: marriage, children, moving, abuse. As a highly empathic and major-change driven individual, these weigh on me heavily.  I have people I love that won’t speak to me, unanswered questions I struggle to let go of, and a never ending, always growing to-do list. I’ve got a tooth ache and a 6mo waiting period for my dental insurance. I have majorly premature forehead wrinkles, AND... I have a continual stream of new hairs that seem to find immense joy in growing on my chin ;).  

The forehead wrinkle mystery solved. I just recently saw this clip from an 
i-have-a-brilliant-idea video my mom took of me in September. 
Whoa, animation! Obviously, my wrinkles come from sheer enthusiasm!!


A good friend once called me out (which I loved btw), saying that no one has a perfect life, so what’s my story?  I never have, nor never will, think I have a perfect life... but it IS imperfectly fantastic ;). I consciously honor every thought and emotion that enters my brain/body/heart, and I choose how to deal with it, react to it.  It’s not always easy and definitely not always pleasant, but I choose to look for the positive, or at least neutrality.  That did not come innately. I learned that. I sought it out. I fought for it. I continue to make it a priority. You can too :) 

To grow, a plant needs sun and rain. It needs shade and it needs dirt. Worms and bees and compost are helpful. And for expedited growth? It needs shit!! Lots of stinky, nasty, fertilizing shit :). This is a non-subtle analogy to our lives!!! There is no perfection. We will all wither away and join back the earth one day. You can bloom... and better sooner than later! 



There IS always another way to look at any situation. Choose positive. Choose growth. Choose change. Choose happy. :)

How? Seek out the positive. Be curious. Welcome all experiences. Embrace change like it was the biggest best bear hug of your life!!!



Go have yourself a phenomenally lucky and wonderful Friday the 13th :). 


With love, 
Becky Jo 
Spread happy :) 





Thursday, December 12, 2013

I have a home!!!


After 2 years of phenomenal nomad-ing, I have an apartment, I have a home!!!! AHHHHHH!!! It's wonderful, I love it, I am so happy!!! This area, the Columbia River Gorge, is jaw-droppingly beautiful. The people are friendly and there are outdoor activities galore!!! Every person I've met says they love it here. During summer, that little beach in front on my place is home to the #4 destination in the USA for kite boarding!!!!!! OMGGGG!!!! AMAZINGGGGG!!!! :)




Saturday, November 30, 2013

An address!!!!!

I'm moving into my new apartment today!!!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

It's been over two years since I've (officially) had my own space. My own things. An address!!!!

I'll be a bona fide Washingtonian again!!! It's been 13 years 3 months and +/- 1 week since I left this wonderful state.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

As much as I have LOVED and cherished and grown through the fantastic nomad lifestyle I've led these past two years, I am so so so very excited for this new phase of life!!!!






CAN YOU TELL??!!!?!?

I LOVE THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST .... AND ALL-CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy 11-23!!!

Ahhhh 11-23, I love these two numbers. Today is a special day. :)  Makes me happy.

I'm so happy to be off of social media for a while too.  It's only been a day (and I had to log in again last night for some contact info-oops) but already I feel relieved. Like a big weight is off of me. I'd been contemplating retracting for quite a while. It was time :).

I think I'll post my 'would-be' facebook posts as blogs instead  :).  Short blogs?? Say WHAT??! haha

SO, on this day of 11-23, feeling so grateful and happy, I realized last years Thanksgiving post was on 11-23!!!

I went back and re-read it (you can too here if you want!) and had a barrage of ammazing memories and emotions flood over me :).

This quote was in there:




And I just got all giddy about reinforcing this FACT to you!!! I recently had seen this video by soul pancake, so if you don't believe me, watch this!! It really is SO SO SO TRUE!!! 

AND, there are many more I could make up: 

It is not intelligent people who are curious, it is curious people who are intelligent. (read that blog here)

It is not brave people that are confident, it is confident people that are brave. 

It is not likable people that are authentic, it is authentic people that are likable. 


I could probably come up with a million more. The point is, if you don't feel intelligent, brave or likable.... become curious, confident, and authentic. Those CAN be practiced. Those ARE choices. The other will follow! Happiness IS a choice, it's about finding what you can do to get it. Being grateful is PERTINENT!!! 

So, thank you. Thank you! Thank you!!! For everything I know you do, and all the things I don't, that have shaped you just the way you are :). 

AHHHHHHH! I'm happpyyyyy! 11-23! Wonder what will happen today???!?!?!? Something GREAT I'm sure :).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy 2 year Anniversary to me!

October 28, 2011.  Two years exactly since the last day of my 'real' job, and the last night I slept in my own bed (In hindsight, it was not the brightest idea to plan both of those events for the same day--- that was a hectic week!!). It's been a truly amazing journey, through which my life's purpose has not only come to light, but has been jumping and dancing and screaming, "Get started on me already"!!!

(ps.. you can read about how I lived 2+ years first rate and jobless: here)

I'm happily engrossed in planning the rest of my life (aka a non-profit company) called The Bloom Woods.  It's not even close to done yet, and I've got a llooooootttttt of hard work ahead of me, but here's a little a snippit to let you know what I've been working on :)




Dr. Nathaniel Branden wrote an incredible book called, "The Power of Self Esteem" in which he insightfully reveals, “If once the challenge was to gain public understanding of the importance of self-esteem, today the danger is that the idea might become trivialized.... and that people will lose understanding of it’s importance.”

Solid, vital, quality information becoming trivialized seems to me one of the biggest problems of our time;  I believe we are in an era of inundation. Countless invaluable resources are readily available: books, manuals, studies, workbooks, gratitude journals (to just state a few).  How to be happy, how to be confident, how to built your courage, how to be healthy, how to love unconditionally, etc, etc etc. A simple glance at the ‘self-help’ section in Barnes and Noble can be harrowing.

Besides the printed info, then we have the tv shows and especially the internet exacerbating the issue tenfold. Not just the websites and workshops and online seminars, but the Ted talks, the videos, advice, the quotes, even some of the cutesy meme’s being put all over Facebook (myself often sharing!).  The ideas and guidance are SO relevant... yet are the messages being drowned by their sheer numbers?  A quick google image search of “positive quotes” comes back with priceless counsel (as well as some terrible advice from teenagers that really shouldn't be armed with photoshop!)...but, I believe people are becoming overwhelmed.   “How come I am still struggling when I know I should be ‘not sweating the small stuff’, ‘enjoying the simple pleasures’, ‘loving myself’, ‘practicing the power of positive thinking’, on and on and on.  We are so lucky to have the counselers, the phycologists, the therapists, the teachers, the life coaches, the natural leaders - and I applaud anyone taking the steps to seek guidance from these. 

Great advice.  But what does it actually mean??

Information is critical and frequent motivation is fruitful, but I also believe without action we can drown. We’re thrown into the ocean without knowing how to swim. Bruce Lee says it well, 

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

One of my strongest, deep-down, catalytic philosophies is that we must DO. We must ACT. We must PRACTICE. It’s common knowledge that if we want to get really good at the guitar, at stitching, at swimming, at playing the piano, we must practice. Natural talent can give a huge advantage, as I have been privy to understand, but that only goes so far if we really want to excel. It’s known that if we want to have a healthy body, we must eat right and exercise consistently. If we want to have a healthy mind, we must use it, challenge it. If we want to have a healthy relationship, we must put forth some serious effort.  It is my profound ambition in life to embody, engage, inspire, and proliferate this message: that we must also practice the traits of the heart, body, and soul:  Compassion, courage, love, connection, empathy, self-respect, authenticity, responsibility, resilience, attitude, honesty, communication, integrity, so on and so forth. 

Dr. Branden mentions that “A disservice is done to people if they are offered ‘feel good’ notions of self-esteem that divorce it from questions of consciousness, responsibility, or moral choice.”   I wholeheartedly agree, and would further the thought by adding, “It is a potentially detrimental deed to present people with powerful wisdom without also endowing them with a practical means of applying it to their life.”

About 22 months ago I first flirted with the idea of opening an ‘adventure retreat’, a 'humanitarian camp'.  It has evolved into a place for adults to experience what I like to describe as “summer camp meets personal growth seminar meets 1-on-1 counseling”.  We’ve all heard of (or maybe were lucky enough to experience) amazing youth camps. The great ones offer not just a rich variety of activities designed to stimulate the imagination, inspire passions, and challenge the skills, but a place to learn integrity, self-confidence, honesty, respect for others, humility, independence, practice decision making, self-expression, team work and group living skills along with exploring (and appreciating) the outdoors and learning to respect individual differences.  Sounds awesome, right? YES- they are.

What might happen though, when someone leaves that camp at age 18?  When life starts getting more hectic, more serious, with more responsibilities?  We spend the next 10 years trying to find our place in the world, discover who we are, what we want- all the while engulfed in a world of mixed messages. Without meaning to, our parents, peers, friends, and leaders are confusing us: 

Follow your passion...but you have to get a degree.
Don’t settle .... but when are you going to meet someone? 
Eat right... but let's stop at Taco Bell, it's easier.
Love your body... but hey, you should get rid of a few pounds.
Be authentic.. but don’t wear that, it’s out of style.
Think for yourself.... but believe me, I know what I’m talking about.
Say what you mean... but don't say that, you'll sound egotistical.
Don’t judge... but look at that slob over there! 
Accept yourself just as you are... but here have a drink, you are more fun when you are drunk.

Whether or not we got to attend youth camp, whether we were introduced to the heart qualities or not, whether we had amazing parents and social circles, or had an abusive and demeaning childhood, whether we were from poverty or affluence, we all had to go thru our 20’s... and all have faced the susceptibility of being buried beneath the social pressures, media influence, life responsibilities, fear of rejection, desire to fit-in, disenchantment of heartache, loneliness, unfair work environments, and pure cynicism from the overall monotony.  The pain, unfairness of life, and belief that the world revolves around us seems to be driving our evolution, instead of the knowledge and practice that our internal strength, control, and attitude can have colossal change on both the actual external world and our experience of it, and the impressions we leave on the people around us.

We may know the lessons, but we don’t always have the means to practice them, or know how to apply them to our unique situations.  Seeking advice is an amazing step forward, and again, I applaud anyone that is searching. 

This is my life motto :)

The grand reality, the big truth, is that we all have the keys we need already within us. With some support, some love, some encouragement, some guidance, and some tools to apply these qualities to our lives, anyone can find their door to happiness.  I've been consulting with, researching, planning and will eventually be assembling a team of physiologists, wilderness therapists, teachers, adventurers, and people of all kinds who have already found their happy, and are living a life that inspires. 





That is what The Bloom Woods seeks to do.  Inspire. 

I knew I wanted to be an architect at age 12. I always had a gift for seeing raw, ordinary, untouched materials on the ground- and being able to envision the glory of them assembled as a whole into an amazing building. I have that same gift as it translates to people. I can detect raw, pure, genuine hopes and dreams and strengths underneath the weaknesses and insecurities. I see the person they really are, and how a little building, a little support, and a lot of worthwhile effort, persistence, and practice- can bring it all together. 

Every person already holds the keys to their happiness, they just need to believe there IS a door, and if they can't find it, they can build it :).

The ultimate, final goal (which may take a lifetime, but I will achieve) is that The Bloom Woods be able to fund the brightest of the souls that I have the pleasure to meet. The people so great, you just want to be around them! I have met so many of these people already, who have to fight the battle of earning a decent living or being a lighthouse in the world. It shouldn't have to be such a hard choice, and I am inspired by those that have succeeded in managing it. Since there is not nearly enough time in a day to accomplish all I want, it became clear that if I can fund these amazing people, who have an idea with a positive effect on the world, no matter how big or small, I can reach farther into my own mission... 

...That is, to change the world :) 







Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Refuse the Dinner Date


All the single ladies!  All the single ladies! Put your hands up ... and then hurry and hide the left one under your shirt ;). 

This blog is dedicated all the wonderful single ladies I know, or don't know:).
Well, I guess it is for single boys too... just substitute 'he' for 'she'  and think broadly :)
Oh, and it's for gay/lesbian/bi-sexual singles too... I support all love! Exchange pronouns as necessary.
....Oh hell, it's for married people too... you'll get the point ;)

I love being single! I loveeee being single! I love being single!!!

I’m writing this because I’m in my 30's, and I'm happy to admit that I love being single... and I think you should love it too :). For some silly reason, single women start to think they are running out of time around this point. Someone says, “Oh you’re single? How old are you again?”  and she starts thinking she must be unlovable, something must be wrong with her. She’s feeling lonely, feeling bored, and doesn’t know what to do next, so she starts looking for someone to make the next direction of life more clear.   Thinking that if she meets someone, then the next phase will be being a good wife! and then a good mother!  The danger with that is, you’re relying on someone else to decide your fate. 

Ask yourself this question:

If you knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that you would never have a lasting relationship, what would you do with your life?  

Do you have a long term goal? Would you change careers? Go back to school? Start a business? Would you find something to dedicate your life to? A cause? A movement? Would you advocate for the weak, for peace, for the environment, for animals, for injustice? Would you learn something new? Try your hand at art? Music? Teaching? Write a book? Start a blog? What’s your passion? Do you envision your gift to the world to be being the best friend imaginable? Or becoming an amazing mother? (Me too! I can’t wait!!!)  I think being an amazing mother is one of the most important things we can do. So could you volunteer with children? Could you inseminate? Could you adopt?  I’d love to see adoption become easier--- Hey, there’s an idea!!  Let’s get 1000’s of women to campaign, crusade, and advocate for improving the adoption system!!!  (if you could get that finished within 6-7 years that'd be awesome, hint, hint, thanks ;)


I love being single, because I love the feeling of loving being single. hah :). Meaning, I’ve got no rush, no ticking time clock, no urgency to go out, no desire to date or pressure to partner up -- because I’m happy.  Not just happy... I'm on fire with happy... and I've got a mission :).

Warning: Being truly happy is dangerous when you want to stay single... think about it ;)

Continuing the theme of recent blogs...I am high on life!!!! Utterly overflowing with positivity, with joy, with glee, and with ideas... I can’t get them out fast enough! Yes, I traveled and accomplished and achieved and have done ridiculously amazing things... yet I’ve never been happier than I am right now.  Harbored up indoors, glued to my computer,  spending 8, 10, upwards of 12 hours a day working on my business plans. I’m settling in, I’m eating right, I’m exercising, it’s all coming together beautifully.  At one point I might have called it luck, but it's not, it's confirmation that I'm on the right path. My heart, mind, soul and body are all aligned, each telling me it’s now time to give back... and I’m listening :).  It doesn’t feel like work because it’s a passion. Living the life I want is indistinguishable from helping others live the life they want! 

... And having a partner, spouse, boyfriend- although extremely rewarding- still takes some serious effort! Completely, totally, amazingly worth-it effort (which can be oh so very funnnnn), but effort nonetheless :).  I know that one day he’ll just walk into my world and I’ll most likely think, ‘shit... okay... ready or not... I’ve got to make time and space for this one.’ 



If you are single, consider yourself lucky. You have the opportunity to work towards getting happy, which entails having a purpose and feeling a sense of contribution to the world.  That’s the first step, just understanding that. You don’t have to avoid all suitors until then, and there’s not a magical line above which you’ve reached it... just keep it always in your mind, to love yourself and let yourself really live. Go back to that question... if it was always just going to be you, you wonderful you, what would you do? Find and follow your passion. If you’re already doing that--- rock on, I'm stoked for you!  If you're already in a relationship- that's great too, I hope it's wonderful and I truly hope he/she supports you in still finding or following your dreams, and you of theirs, and how nice even if those dreams coincide.


I would so adopt Calvin ;)

Now, I’ll finish all that up by saying there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a partner, nor is there anything wrong with seeking one. I’m all for internet sites (there’s another opportunity to advocate against a stereotype!!!) and putting yourself in situations where you’ll meet people with similar values. In a few years whenever I get this business up and running I might start searching too. I’m simply saying... if you want a relationship, want one so that you can share your happiness... not to give you happiness. 

Soooo, with that... If you find yourself attracted to someone, I have one more piece of handy-dandy advice:

Refuse the dinner date!!!

The point of going on a date with someone is because something about them has intrigued you, and you want to know more about that person. In essence, so you can decide if you want to go on another date, right?  Pursue them as a potential long-term companion? (taking out the young 20's somethings here who just want a... 'friend') The more informed you are the better, because there’s a really good chance you can get hooked by the things that aren’t important. Like his charming smile and the size of his biceps. Like the price of the bill, the car he picks you up in, or the prestige of his achievements.  The compliments given, the brand of his clothes, and quite possibly even the hormones in your pants or the alcohol in your veins. 

(Ever heard of beer goggles people?? Hello! If you are looking for more than a fling, or a relationship based on more than phenomenal sex, don’t get drunk! ) 

People can SAY anything they want... better to see what they DO. Our intuitions are powerful, magnificent, incredible machines that quite often get burned out, or even turned off, if you’re not in a good place on your own (see above point!!). You’re looking for substance and character, not just the ability to have a good conversation. ‘Actions speak louder than words’ is brilliant advice. Pretty much anyone with some social skills can have a nice conversation. Why not have a conversation while also getting a peek into how that person interacts? Cooperates? Connects.. with you and with others? Genius!!!  


Bonus---play can be free!!!

Plato knew his shit!!!! So, go play bingo! Go to the fair! Take one of those new paint classes or just find something fun on groupon!!! Anything really! My favorite?  Go on a leisurely bike ride! Anything that involves an action! Does that person ask you where you want to go? Do they let you ride next to them or stay in front? Do they stop for the old lady on the side of the road? Do they go so fast you can’t keep up? Do they stop to smell the roses?? Do they sneak peeks of you when you are not looking? Do they complain about the humidity or praise the blue sky? Positivity is actually more important to me than whether or not he’s got a job ;). 

Dinner is just sitting and talking.... add ANY other element, and you still get to talk, but you get to see SO MUCH MORE!!!! Put together a piece of ikea furniture. Have him teach you how to golf. Teach him how to sew. Do a charity thing. Walk around town and challenge each other to compliment as many strangers as possible. Make sidewalk art with chalk. Suggest doing something that is important to him, unique to him, special to him.... and then do something that is special to you, giving as many opportunities as possible to watch how that person acts and reacts. The end all be all, is to keep it real. 


....and camping! For sure!!

For many women, insecurity is going to be the downfall of this theory (so could cockiness, but that’s another issue!). She might be nervous to get sweaty, nervous to have her hair messed up, or not be fast enough or witty enough or (blank-blank) enough. She’s nervous to make a joke, or look awkward.  If that’s you, start back at the beginning above! Following your dreams and doing what you love and that which inspires you simultaneously and effortlessly builds your confidence. Double whammy awesome :). 

The thing is... would you really want to be with someone that will tease you? Will make you feel clumsy if you fall? Will roll their eyes if you make a bad joke? Will judge your wrinkles rather than your soul? Would you really want to be with someone that tells you nice things but you don’t feel them?  If you want to be loved for just looking good and making the physical impression, then a dinner date is probably okay. Just be weary that you may be asking for someone that falls for how you look above who you are! And just as equally important, be mindful if you are doing those things to him. Society has impressed these reactions upon us to the point of habit. What we ‘should’ say or do, rather than what we actually want to, in order to be cool. Cool is waaaaay overrated! Advocate that!!! :) 

If doesn’t matter if you are gorgeous, smart, funny, wealthy, AND sexy.. no self-respecting man will want to be with a phony, and you shouldn’t either :). Self-respect is the key. Using your intuition (really listening to it), asking, questioning and really listening to the answers, and being authentic is the door.

And yes, it’s okay to think about this now, because the truth is, there’s no better time to work on your marriage than before you have one.

“I love being single” could imply many things. It could imply an inclination to cycle thru numerous sexual partners, a pattern of soliciting attention in order to boost self-esteem, a selfishness over not having to compromise, a protective veil over insecurity, a ‘fake it to make it’ lie one tells themselves to get through their loneliness.  It could imply any of those... or you could just ask “why”?  If someone says something that you don’t understand, ask. :)
You know what they say about assuming. It just makes an ass out of u and me ;) hhehe

I love being single, because I know I won’t always be, even though I easily could be.  

My future significant other will undoubtable be the most amazing man in the whole wide world.  I can say that with total confidence because, why not? The word “amazing” is subjective!!  It’s my wish that everyone out there should not only be with their ‘most amazing man in the world’ and be made to feel like they are to him too.  The word ‘amazing’ means a whole lot of different things to different people. You can’t take offense when someone isn’t interested, because if what they want isn’t what you have, that’s perfectly fine; he simply wasn’t the one.

I've no doubt confounded many suitors. We had a greeeeeaattt time!!! But...

My definition of amazing differs greatly from that of, say, a cosmo type magazine or probably of most women in general. Career man? Big Money? Nice car? I’m not interested in those. Normal? Average? Typical? Oh hellllll no!! hahha. The ‘package’ that he comes in will be a surprise, but without a doubt he’ll be a forever learner and house a beautiful, shining, radiant soul. A hardworking, energetic, kind, affectionate, compassionate, communicative, inspiring and most definitely an unconventional man.   I’m pretty averse to convention, you may have noticed :).  




Begin to love yourself first, and then share your authentic, unique, special gift and overflowing love allllllll over this world, especially with someone that appreciates and reciprocates it in their own authentic, unique, special way :) 





Thursday, September 19, 2013

...and so it begins!

Right Now!!! There's no denying it's RIGHT NOW!!! ahhh!! Yay!

Almost 2 years of soul searching, self-seeking, finding-my-way, my path, whatever you want to call it. 2 years of gathering lessons and experiences and wisdom and peace and love. Studying, analyzing, inundating myself with as much as I could soak up.

And now,  it's got to overflow :). Im dying for more to come in, but I've got to get out whats in me for a short minute. My cup spilleth over :)

The challenges have begun, from all angles. Personal attacks, massive business decisions, major monetary investments-- the tests are HERE!!!

....and they are WELCOME!!!


I am starting from such a phenomenal place. A place of so much love and gratitude and confidence and peace, I feel pretty darn untouchable!!! I have to give myself a pat on the back really--- it's one thing to share and spread advice, it's another to put it into practice, to really apply it to life. 

That's not to say I'm perfect (at all!).  In fact I think of myself as a toddler in this new world of serenity (exciteeeeedd serenity!!!).... and wooowwww I'm crawling, pulling up every day and getting ready to take that first step!!!!!!

My mental game is prepared... and funny enough, it's translating to my physical world.  Last week I was laying in the hospital bed, hooked up to all sorts of monitors and such. (Don't you worry your little head one bit, I had a colonoscopy to give me peace of mind over my tummy ailments-- in the end, it came back fine, and I suppose I'm simply just allergic to something. I'm doing a major food self-study at the moment to find out what).

Anyways,  I was hooked up for over an hour waiting on the doctor.  My average resting heart rate that whole time- was 37. Whoa, even the nurses were like wow!  Sure, I am an athlete, but not in any way, shape or form in the best condition of my life. In fact, after Worlds, I went into gluttony and sloth mode for over a month!

I like to think of it as my inner peace giving me just another boost of confidence :). My heart is happy, my body is calm.... and big things are coming!!!!

WAHOOOOOOOO!! I loveeeee roller coasters!!!




Oh.. and right now, like 5 minutes ago, my pal Wendy, an amazing woman who is just such a fireball of awesome I can't contain my excitement at having met her, posted this on my FB Wall:


"The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find. A big part of this is your decision to stay true to your own goals and dreams. Do you have people who disagree with you? Good. It means you’re standing your ground and walking your own path. Sometimes you’ll do things considered crazy by others, but when you catch yourself excitedly losing track of time, that’s when you’ll know you’re doing the right thing. Read The 4-Hour Workweek." - - thought of you! love ya!


I read that book 2 years ago. It is awesome, you should read it too. Maybe it'll catapult you into this state I'm in right now!!!!!! Ummmm... Yesss... it's all happening, RIGHT NOW!!!


http://www.broccolicity.com/2013/08/10-choices-you-will-regret-in-10-years/


Friday, September 6, 2013

The Summer of Authenticity



19 States, 18 highest mountains, 7 countries, 1 world Championship...
  a motorcycle and a rainbow helmet :)

It’s been over 9 weeks since I’ve posted a blog... whoa!  I’d say that’s way too long, but the reason it’s been postponed is I’ve had incredible experience after incredible experience- not because of where or what I’ve been into (although those have been ridiculously fantastic), but because of who I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with.  Amazing, authentic people all over this world.

As is typical, I was perfectly happy to do my own thing this trip... even eager... to explore and adventure during the days, but have quiet nights to work on my business plans. But, almost a little too auspiciously, I kept meeting fantastic people that lifted and inspired and encouraged me. So wonderful in fact, I couldn’t spare a moment away to write a blog :).  I’m finally ‘home’ (to my mom’s house) and am reminiscing with amazement. Sooooo many stories worth telling!  

There’s the story of accidentally finding out two of my BFF’s are preggo (YAYYYY) while hiking in NH, there’s the story of renegade camping in Boston w/ my summit pal Bill,There’s the story of ‘bear hunting’ w locals in Hungary, of hitchhiking with a professional ice hockey player (who’ll be in the Olympics in Feb!). There was meeting and spontaneously couchsurfing with a World Champion Gold Panner (yup, it exists!). There’s the story of even just being in Europe, joining 100’s of my US teammates for the World Championship of Dragon Boating. There’s the story of drunkenly climbing the club rafters at our team afterparty ‘because i’m a monkey’ and the ensuing story of exploring my ‘sapio-sexuality’ ;). The story of seeing 7 shooting starts w/ Balazs, getting a personal tour of Czech with one of my shero’s Helena (all the while with her world record size toe blister), there’s the people I met within the stories of cliff jumping in Austria, being homeless on the Croatian coast, jumping out of trees and swimming to an island in Slovenia, buying a booby pillow in Czech, hitchhiking in a private bus with a girl named Andra in Croatia, and learning how to make fire with a 10th century Viking in Hungary. There’s the awesome stories of meeting the amazing Olga, and our getting lost for hours in the pitch black night. There’s the story of how the gift she left with me allowed me to meet Preet, who abandoned his plans to embrace my shenanigan one, and then joining up with our 3rd musketeer Zoltan, and making it just in time to watch the incredible fireworks over Budapest. Oh, and the bus driver that flat-out propositioned me for sex when I was short $1 for the ride home!!! Back in the US, there was randomly stripping down in the street and joining a naked bike parade in Philly, stumbling upon a hostel that serves ‘karma soup’ and meeting Ann and Kim, my (soul) dobbleganger,  and finding out we have the SAME plan for a new business - adventure life coaching! WHOA!! (collaboration planning in effect!) There was a magical trail run w/ them in the dark and pouring rain in Blackwater State Park, WV, then there was yoga and a dinner party and a slumber party at Ann’s house, who 24 hours before had been a complete stranger, yet we ending the day snuggling up for reading bedtime stories together :0). And of course getting caught being naked on the mountains... that happened many times actually :). 

You know a place is awesome when they serve this :)   The Purple Fiddle in Thomas, West Virginia. 
I suppose it’s kind of evil to just give hints of these big awesome stories. It’s just too much too cover here, but since each story is blog worthy, I like to write just enough to keep them in my memory (so when you ask me about them I can remember. And you should ask... it’s highly entertaining stuff;). 

Even if none of those wild/funny/crazy stories had happened, it still would have been an amazing summer. Traveling for me is not about getting someplace, it's about being wherever I am. It's the sensations and the feelings and the random small conversations.  The sharing of tears with amazing friends, belly laughs about speaking the wrong language, painting toes for 3 hours, midnight yoga, accidental polenka shots, the silence of the mountains, the persistence of suitors, the butt aches after 10 hour days on a motorcycle, seeing and sharing the family history of amazing friends, soggy ghetto hiking shoes, swing dance lessons, meeting the man with the deepest voice ever, Hungarian folk clothing dress up, dragging my poor innocent luggage off the back of my motorcycle, or the sleeping on said motorcycle at 1am in a gas station parking lot somewhere in Jersey. Trying to write a blog on the train, but giving it up because Jocelyn was too interesting to not talk too. Hiking 3 miles in the wrong direction in VA and turning an 8 mile hike into a 14 mile one ;). Amazing sunrises and sunsets at 60mph, riding in the rain, hiking in the rain, dancing in the rain :). Falling in love with mountains and waterfalls over and over. Falling in love with country life over and over. Arbitrarily meeting and connecting with a shaman that has reinforced my intuitions. Feeling and knowing I’m exactly where I should be. Understanding what energizes and enthuses me.  I am ridiculously in love with scenery. I am ridiculously in love with being alone. But I must give credit where credit is due. This summer, it was people that were most memorable. .....the moments of “icharba choding” :).

I learned this word recently, "Icharba chode." It’s a japanese word, that means “once we have met, we are like brothers or sisters”. So pretty much a strong and significant first connection. I feel like this happened more times just this summer than in some lifetimes!!  I won't be able to keep up an everyday relationship with all of them (in fact I can't keep up w/ my current loves!) but they impressed upon my heart and life in the best of ways :).  I am so grateful.


It’s hard to put into words my emotional state...it’s a powerfully irreversible state, an unconquerable attitude that everything is as it should be (like this video on steroids :) It’s an awareness and perception that we can learn and grow from every experience we have and definitely every person we encounter.  So much AMAZINGNESS out there!!!!! So much love to give and receive! So much unlimited joy to just be scooped up and used over and over!!! Soooo much to learn and soooo many people to learn from!!!  

The story I most want to share is the one of Franco, the 72 year old Italian grandpa that picked me up on the side of the road in Austria. No doubt because he didn’t want someone else too- he was the epitome of father figure:). He didn’t speak a lick of english. I spoke enough spanish that we somehow managed a few details. I found out he was from Napoli, has 2 kids, 4 grandkids, and he lives in Venice. We rode together for about an hour, and it was wonderful in every sense of the word... and with very little conversation.  What impressed upon me was how kind he was, and by the end how much he really had started to care for me, and I him... Yup, that can happen without words.  He made a point to figure out how to convey to me that if I was going to hitchhike, to only ride with one man, never 2 or 3 ;). We stopped for the bathroom and he shared his fresh peaches with me. I started to sing and he made obvious his approval (despite my total offkey-ness). We pointed around at the amazing Austrian scenery and made sounds of awe. When he finally dropped me off (farther than he was going, so he could find a ‘good’ spot), he send me off with the last peach, a few apricots, a bar of wafer chocolate, even his last few sticks of gum. Basically anything he had to show his affection. 

Communication is so much more than words. Real communication is in fact most apparent without language. Just this summer, I’ve been exposed to Hungarian, Czech, Austrian, Slovenia, Croatian, the French of Montreal, the southern accent, the Boston accent, the New York accent, a jillion more... but no matter what, no matter where, everywhere and everyone understands an authentical smile. My ride with Franco was a beautiful reminder, an amazing lesson in how we should always communicate. Consciously striving to share your feelings without words. Speaking with your eyes, your smile, your gestures. Intentionally trying to express your heart, letting it show.  I wish I’d taken a picture of Franco. He was adorable. Short and chubby and with kind eyes, my favorite feature in a person :).

All the connections I’ve had lately have been so prominent and significant, noticeable numerous...has it been fortuitous or the universal’s calculated plan? I think option B... but either way, I had to just step back for a second. What’s linking me so easily to all these people from the get-go? What links me to all my BFF’s for that matter?? Regardless of personality, I’m attracted to authenticity behind the words. Authenticity IS a form of communication! 

Authenticity is when what you feel and what you do align with what you say.  You can try to mask a feeling, your thoughts, your state, but to anyone listening to their intuition, they know something is amiss.  The most amazing thing, is that when you find your own authenticity, you provide a safe environment for others to share their’s as well. Think of your best friends-- you feel safe right? able to be completely genuine?  What if you felt safe all the time? What if you were always absolutely authentic?... and then others feel safe...and the circle continues and grows. It’s a phenomenal process :) 

So who goes first? You or them? Let it be you :). Be willing to be vulnerable. Be willing to be real and wholehearted. I love this video by Brene Brown and this book is phenomenal if you are looking for a good read about that :). Real connection happens when one is willing to be completely honest and open, revealing/accepting/laughing over flaws as well as strengths, admitting fears, sharing desires, asking questions, really listening, really caring, being open to learning/sharing/trading knowledge and insight.  Real connection happens when you drop preconceived notions about someone based on their clothes, their style, their hair, and sometimes even their words. Real connection happens when you drop preconceived notions about how you should be or act too.  Real connection happens when you are real.



This summer has been wonderful, seriously wonderful, but there were definitely some rough patches. Some of the more intense ones of my life actually. Some moral dilemmas, some painful realizations, some major differing of opinions... all tough and tear-worthy (and story worthy too!) but an essential part of the beautiful whole. Even through the weeping or frustration, there was an appreciation and an infallible belief that everything happens exactly as it should.  A tree needs sun, but can’t grow without rain and some dirt :). 

A big part of the hard times I’ve gone through lately have been those moments where I could feel that communication was not open, not authentic. When I could sense insecurity, but words of courage came out. When there was disapproval behind the eyes, but a smile on the face. When the words didn’t match the action.  When intentions were purposely hidden and even lied about. I don’t just prefer them, but I actually like people that will openly admit they are selfish, or screwed up, or scared, or insecure, or an asshole- sooooooo much more than those that are, but pretend they aren’t.  The world would be boring if we were all the same, and good lord, the world would be exhausting if we were all like me. ;). We are who we are, so embrace it.  If you don’t like something, work to change it, or at least understand it more, so you can accept it and work with it.   




If you realize you aren’t the best communicator, if you hide behind a false persona, if your facebook is much more exciting than your real life, if you find yourself judging others, or using the word ‘should’ far too often-- that doesn’t have to be the final answer.  Authenticity and the Art of Communication isn’t always easy in our modern world... the good news is we can improve it the same way we grow any skill. If someone really wants to learn about something, like how to play the guitar, or get better at a sport, they’d read books, watch videos, seek advice, practice, practice, practice. 

I’m going to mention Brene Brown again here-- she’s awesome. Check her out :). Her book about the Gifts of Imperfection is fab.

The best thing you can do for any relationship- be it your lover, your friend, or a stranger that may very well be someone you could ‘icharbachode’ with - is to be authentic. The next best thing is to open a door of communication, which is not just welcoming, but inviting to their authenticity. Be willing to be first. Get rid of the phrase "supposed to". Create a space for them to feel safe in, to share their thoughts of both themselves and of you! Ask questions! Then witness the wondrous effects. Does something come up that you never even knew? That surprises you? If it’s a woman, most likely something will shock you... we are stereotypically horrible about harboring issues within. ;0) 

Not so much me, this harboring issue... I would implode if I didn’t share every thought I have (okay not every thought;). I recently changed my email signature to include my life’s “all-encompassing existence.”  Yep, I managed to roll it up into one sentence!!!  

Under my name and info (send me an email and see!) it says:

______________________

Always open and eager, to create or grow, receive or trade: 
joy, wisdom, insight, skills, advice, opinions, views, criticism, praise, ideas, suggestions, fun, and most certainly gratitude.  Thank you!! :)

“Everyone is a teacher, everywhere is a classroom, and I, am an eternal student”
___________

It rolls up everything I am/I want/ am working to embody. I’m only 1/3 thru my life, so I’ve got tons more growing and learning to do, but I am positive I don’t have the fear of authenticity or desire to fit-in that plagues our society. Talks of sex, body image, odor, shape, size, fear, embarrassment, guilt-- there’s nothing off-limits. It's my goal to make anyone around me feel they can be authentic. That they can give their opinion. Their advice. That we can talk about anything. Do you feel that safe space around me?  I sure hope so.  Does your lover or your best friend feel that from you?? That's a great place to start :)

I’m striving to make all communication safe. No judgement, no defensiveness, no overreacting, no jealousy, no assuming. It’s not always easy, I need practice practice practice :).  That being said, feel free to practice your communication, your authenticity, with me ;).   Comment, call, write, yell, cry, or otherwise express your thoughts, be them of the sun or the rain, or even the dirt variety, all are necessary for growth :) 




I love my helmet!!!!!! Even my ponytail is growing!!!